A Russian court has found a man guilty of killing his wife and her adult daughter in New York City in what U.S. prosecutors says is only the second time that Russia has convicted someone for a crime committed in the United States.
Russia’s federal Investigative Committee said in a November 19 statement that a court in Tula, 200 kilometers south of Moscow, convicted 63-year-old Nikolai Rakosy of the double homicide in the New York City borough of Brooklyn and sentenced him to 19 years in a maximum security prison.
U.S. federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said he was convicted on November 18.
Rakosy’s 56-year-old wife, Tatyana Prikhodko, and her 27-year-old daughter, Larisa, were discovered dead with multiple stab wounds in a Brooklyn apartment in April 2011.
Russian investigators say Rakosy fled the United States and arrived in Russia two days after the crime. He was arrested in October 2013 based on materials provided by U.S. authorities, the Investigative Committee said in the statement.
Russia and the United States do not have an extradition treaty and have repeatedly sparred over politically charged criminal cases involving one another’s citizens.
The U.S. prosecution of convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, for example, has enraged Moscow.
Russia, meanwhile, has given refuge to fugitive former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, whom the United States wants to prosecute for leaking thousands of classified documents to the media.
But the two countries’ law enforcement authorities have collaborated on less politically sensitive criminal cases.
Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson told the Associated Press that a "mutual legal assistance treaty" allowed Rakosy to be tried in Russia, despite the fact that the killings were committed in the United States.
"This defendant cowardly slaughtered his wife and her daughter in Brooklyn before fleeing to Russia, where he thought he could escape justice," Thompson was quoted as saying. "This rare type of prosecution ensures the defendant will be held accountable and punished for the horrific crimes that he committed back here."
A Russian court in 2012 convicted a man for the 2002 killings of his roommates in Tennessee.
With reporting by AP