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Former Russian Official Spared Jail For Journalist's Murder

A Russian court has found the former deputy mayor of the Siberian city of Tulun guilty of killing a journalist who had criticized his activities, but ruled he should not go to prison.

The court in Irkutsk ruled on January 16 that Gennady Zhigarev, 57, stabbed 74-year-old journalist Aleksandr Khodzinsky in July 2013 while in a "state of emotional disturbance."

Zhigarev left the courtroom a free man after receiving a sentence of one year and 10 months of "limitation of freedom."

Regional ombudsman Valery Lukin told journalists he was "disappointed by the court verdict and the sentence."

According to Russian law, convicted murderers would normally serve a minimum prison sentence of six years.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Russia was the ninth-deadliest country for journalists last year.

Based on reporting by Interfax and AFP

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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