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Russian Court Says General Rokhlin's Widow Guilty Of Murder

Lev and Tamara Rokhlin prior to his death in 1998 (AFP) 29 November 2005 -- A Russian court today said it considered the widow of Army General Lev Rokhlin guilty of murdering her husband seven years ago.

The panel said investigators had, for the second time in five years, concluded that Tamara Rokhlina shot her husband to death.

Lev Rokhlin, a member of the Russian State duma, was found dead at his country cottage on 3 July 1998.

The court in Naro-Fominsk, southwest of Moscow, concluded that Tamara Rokhlina shot her husband because she felt hatred for him. It handed down a suspended sentence of four years in jail.

Rokhlina denies the charges, and says her husband was killed by three masked gunmen. Her lawyer, Anatolii Kucherena, says he will appeal today's ruling.

Rokhlina was first convicted of murder in 2000 and sentenced to eight years in prison. But Russia's Supreme Court quashed the judgment, returning the case to the Naro-Fominsk court.

Earlier this year, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that the courts had violated Rokhlina's right to a speedy trial.

(Russian news agencies)