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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Court Confirms 2 Held in Markelov’s Killing

A Moscow court confirmed Thursday that police have detained two suspects in the murder of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and a reporter in central Moscow in January.

The Basmanny District Court was expected on Thursday to rule on extending the detention of the two suspects in the killing of Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova, who was with him at the time, said court spokeswoman Anna Usachyova.

Markelov, who fought against the early release of former Army Colonel Yury Budanov, imprisoned for the murder of a Chechen girl, was shot dead January 18 not far from the Kremlin. Baburova, a reporter for the opposition Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was also killed with a shot to the head.

"Material has been received by the Basmanny court about the detention of Yevgenia Khasis and Nikita Tikhonov, who are accused of the crime," Usachyova said.

Usachyova did not say exactly what roles the pair were accused of playing in the murders. Lawyers for Khasis and Tikhonov could not be immediately reached for comment.

Law enforcement sources cited by Kommersant and Interfax said the pair were former members of the banned Russian National Unity ultranationalist group.

Russia has been accused of doing to little to solve a series of killings of rights activists and journalists in recent years, including the 2006 killing of reporter Anna Politkovskaya.