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Russians Demonstrate For Release Of Young Convict

YEKATERINBURG -- Dozens of people in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg demonstrated to demand the release of a teenager convicted of murder, RFE/RL's Russian service reports.

Vladimir Makarov, 17, was detained in January 2008 and was convicted in December of killing an ethnic Uzbek taxi driver, Mirshod Radjabov who was found dead with 63 knife wounds on November 8, 2007.

Makarov was sentenced to nine years of jail. He had pled guilty and confessed in court, but later claimed that he had nothing to do with the murder, saying that police tortured him to make him confess.

One of the protestors, Eduard Chashchin, told RFE/RL's Russian Service that Makarov was a quiet and polite person, and that he found it impossible that he could kill someone.

Prosecutor Lyubov Ivanova told RFE/RL that Makarov's guilt was fully proven, and that there is no need to change the verdict, adding that the convict has a right to appeal his sentence.

Russia's Supreme Court will hear Makarov's appeal on March 30.