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Moscow Judges Seek Protection After Getting Death Threats

MOSCOW -- A Moscow court official says 13 judges in the Russian capital have requested police protection this year after receiving death threats, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Moscow City Court chairwoman Olga Yegorova said on September 22 that she has never received so many requests for protection from judges before. One Moscow judge has been killed this year.

Yegorova added that the figure only includes judges in Moscow, and that there have been attacks on judges in other regions. She said that she, too, has received death threats.

"It's either the result of someone dissatisfied with how a case was handled and the severity of a sentence, or it's because someone is jealous and angry," Yegorova said. "I think it's necessary to process cases quicker, issue comprehensive procedural documents so that citizens understand why they receive rejections [of their cases]."

Yegorova refused to discuss the perceived partiality of Moscow judges in libel cases involving Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, but claimed that about one-third of legal complaints lodged by citizens against the Moscow municipal authorities are successful.

She also said that as a result of amendments to the criminal code -- introduced this year by President Dmitry Medvedev -- that outlaw the pretrial detention of people charged with economic crimes, 13 suspects in Moscow have been released and placed under house arrest and 22 others awaiting trial for economic crimes have been released on bail.