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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Libel Trial Begins

ST. PETERSBURG -- The first legal proceedings related to the murder of slain Russian lawmaker Galina Starovoitova opened Thursday, with a St. Petersburg court hearing testimony in a libel case against her party.

Gennady Seleznyov, speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, filed the 800,000 ruble ($34,800) suit in response to an article that the newspaper Northern Capital published three days before the Nov. 20 killing. Starovoitova's political party, also called Northern Capital, owns the newspaper.

The newspaper reported that a faction within the Communist Party, led by Seleznyov, had shaken down businessmen in the city to raise the equivalent of thousands of dollars for the party.