“He Fell on the Knife”: Person Involved in the Murder of a Gay Male Acquitted
On February 6, 2020, a jury of the Basmanny District Court of Moscow issued a verdict against Anton Berezhnoy accused of assaulting a gay male couple that ended in the death of one of the victims.
The incident occurred on June 29, 2019, right at the entrance of the busy Kursky Railway Station. Berezhnoy attacked the young couple with a knife while shouting homophobic insults according to the surviving victim. While Yevgeny Yefimov received only minor injuries, Roman Yedalov died on the spot.
Berezhnoy was accused of murder – under Article 105 Part 1 of the Criminal Code and assault – under Article 116 of the Criminal Code.
The jury found Berezhnoy guilty of assaulting Yefimov but acquitted him of the murder of Yedalov. The reason behind this judgement is not entirely clear. It was reported that while Berezhnoy himself pleaded guilty for assaulting Yefimov, he denied murdering Yedalov stating that he “fell on the knife” himself.
As a result of this, on February 7, 2020, the Basmanny District Court sentenced Anton Berezhnoy to restriction of liberty (which comprises travel ban and some other limitations) for 1 year and 11 months.