Jury finds avenger not guilty

A man accused of planned assassination of three people, including two policemen, and attempted murder of two was found not guilty of all counts on Tuesday, June 4.

Alexander Taran, Stavropol, in the South of Russia, was charged with murder and attempted murder of three policemen, an entrepreneur and a doctor, whom he blamed for the death of his daughter and son. Although the evidence seemed overwhelming the jury declared a 57-year-old beekeeper not guilty.

In 1994 a 20 year-old daughter of the accused, Natalia, died in hospital of narcotic overdose. Her father tried to start an inquest on who supplied drugs to his daughter and how this was done, but to no avail. The bereaved parent, along with many other people in the village, believed that the hospital's staff did not try hard enough to save the girl.

In 2001 Taran's son, Vladimir, was murdered in a night club; he was beaten and thrown from the upper floor. The murderer has never been found. Taran believed that his son was killed by a nephew of an influential businessman of Caucasus origin, Magomed Erkenov, and that the case was closed for money.

In 2003 Erkenov was found in a puddle of blood. Later the chief doctor of the local hospital was severely injured. Then two policemen who investigated the murder of Vladimir Taran were killed. The last victim, the head of the road police, was shot but survived. Earlier his subordinates arrested Alexander Taran for drunk driving and sent his car to a car pound. The accused was unable to pay the penalty and never got his car back.

The Kalashnikov, from which the victims were shot, with a self-made silencer was found in a nearby forest. A locksmith confirmed that Taran asked him to make parts for the silencer. A pistol and bullets were also found in the Taran's house, but the main evidence was his hair on the Kalashnikov.

At first the beekeeper admitted the crime but later withdrew his guilty plea arguing that he had been under pressure.

 

June 5, 2009.

 

 

A man accused of assassination of three people, including two policemen, and attempted murder of two was found not guilty of all counts on Tuesday, June 4, though the evidence seemed overwhelming.
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