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Leading Moscow judge shot dead


A senior judge from Moscow's city court who presided over high-profile racist murder cases has been shot dead awhile leaving his apartment in the Russian capital. Investigators said the crime was likely related to his work.

"Unknown assailants shot the federal judge of the Moscow city court, Eduard Chuvashov, on the third-floor landing in the first entrance of building 24 on Strelbishchensky Street," the investigative committee said in a statement.

"He died on the spot from gunshot wounds to the head and chest. The attackers fled the scene."

The 47-year-old had presided over at least two cases of hate crimes perpetrated by ultra-nationalist groups last year.

In February, Chuvashov sentenced nine members of a skinhead group called the White Wolves to up to 23 years in jail for murders motivated by ethnic hatred.

Most of their victims were migrant workers from Central Asia, whom they'd knifed and clubbed to death.

Just last week, he jailed three ultra-nationalists for a race-motivated murders.

Based on surveillance videos from the building, authorities have profiled the judge's killer as a young man of Slavic appearance, aged between 25 and 30, a police source was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

He was wearing jeans, a black shirt and black cap that hid his face, the source said, adding early evidence indicates he was a professional gunman.

Chuvashov's killing comes just over a year after the murder by right-wing extremists of a top lawyer who was also active in the fight against racism.

Two Russian nationalists were arrested and charged with the killing in January 2009 of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova as they emerged from a news conference.