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Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Jesuit-Priest Killer Gets 14 Years in Prison

Moscow, August 25, Interfax - The Moscow City Court has sentenced Mikhail Orekhov to 14 years in prison for killing a Jesuit priest.

The sentence was handed out on Tuesday on the basis of the jury's verdict.

Following debates of the consequences of the verdict by the jury, the prosecutor demanded 15 years in jail for Orekhov. By law, the court must follow the jury's verdict and cannot pass any other verdict except "guilty."

The jury found Orekhov guilty of killing Priest Viktor Betancourt of the Independent Russian Jesuit Society.

"An investigation has established that Orekhov killed Betancourt while in a state of alcoholic intoxication, motivated by personal enmity, after the victim attempted to entice him to commit a joint sexual act," the press service of the federal prosecutor's Investigation Committee earlier told Interfax.

Orekhov had been charged with a double murder. Investigators claimed he had also killed Otto Messmer, the Society's Abbot. But the jury cleared Orekhov of those charges.


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