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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

sDeputies' Murders Solved, Killers at Large, Police Say

Police officials of the Moscow Oblast said Thursday that they have "solved" most of the major crimes that occurred in their jurisdiction in the last year, including the murders of State Duma deputies Andrei Aizderdis and Sergei Skorochkin.


However, in a mitigating statement, a police spokesman for the region added that although the identity of those deputies' murderers has been established, the murderers themselves have not been arrested.


"The cases are solved, but the perpetrators are abroad and cannot be caught," said Yury Toropin, the deputy director of the Criminal Investigation department of the police of the Moscow Oblast, a regional administrative district surrounding but not including Moscow.


Aizderdis, a member of the New Regional Policy faction, was actually murdered nearly two years ago, on April 26, 1994, when he was shot by a hunting rifle outside his home in the Khimki region. The killing was the first of five murders of deputies in less than two years.


The body of Skorochkin, a member of the liberal Union of December 12 faction, was found on Feb. 2 last year, shortly after the deputy had been kidnapped by four masked men who seized him in a cafe in Zaraisk. Skorochkin had previously admitted to killing a Georgian national, who the deputy said was extorting money from him. A court ruled that Skorochkin had acted in self-defense in that killing.


The Moscow Oblast police announcement was not the first time authorities have announced the solution of a high-profile killing, only to acknowledge later that they had not captured the killers.


In August, then-Deputy Prosecutor General Oleg Gaidanov announced that his office had solved the murders of journalists Dmitry Kholodov and Vladislav Listyev. However, he added, that those responsible for the murders had not been arrested because hiring a contract killer was not illegal under the criminal code. The murderers of both men remain at large.