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Russian Murder Trial Continues After Defendants' Suicide Attempts

Nikita Tikhonov (left) and Yevgenia Khasis have been charged with the double murder of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova.
MOSCOW -- The high-profile trial of a couple charged with killing lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova has continued despite suicide attempts by the defendants, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Markelov and Baburova were shot dead on a downtown Moscow street in January 2009. Nikita Tikhonov and his girlfriend Yevgeniya Khasis went on trial in February for the killings.

Tikhonov slashed his wrists on April 26 and Khasis attempted to do the same a day later. The extent of their injuries was not reported.

Their lawyers had urged the judge to suspend the trial, saying their clients' physical condition needs to be checked after the suicide attempts.

But the court denied the requests.

The defendants -- who have both pleaded not guilty to the charges -- were given a final chance to testify on April 27. The jury is expected to announce the verdict in the coming days.

Tikhonov and Khasis were active members of an ultranationalist group. Markelov was a frequent defender of people from the Caucasus whom he believed had been prosecuted because of their nationality.

Read more in Russian here