Schoolgirl’s rapist and murderer sentenced to 23 years

A Moscow City court has sentenced an Uzbeki, convicted of raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl, to 23 years in a maximum security prison. The chilling murder was witnessed by several people, though none called police.

The convict, a 32-year-old unskilled worker, Farkhod Tursunov, was found guilty of rape, murder and forced sexual conduct.

The father of the murdered schoolgirl, Anna Beshnova, declared he would appeal the sentence, Itar-Tass news agency says. He wants the murderer to spend life behind bars.

In his turn, the convicted man’s lawyer, Yury Efimenkov, said he is also going to appeal the sentence and insist on his client’s acquittal. He says that the court has not clarified all the circumstances of the case, and there remain unclear episodes.

As for the fact that his client had partly pleaded guilty, the lawyer explains it by “his poor knowledge of Russian and misunderstanding of a number of juridical terms.”

The sides have ten days to appeal the verdict.

Meanwhile, the court also ordered the convict to pay four million rubles as compensation to the schoolgirl's parents. It is unclear how Tursunov will be able to pay that sum, as he is reported to have no valuable property.

The cruelty of the murder in question created a wave of public outrage. According to the forensics report, the girl was first beaten senseless, then raped and strangled to death.

And even if the chaste official wording sends shivers down the spine, one can imagine what awful details hide behind those words.

"We thought it was a couple in love"


Anna Beshnova (Photo from lurkmore.ru)

Anna Beshnova was murdered on October 1, 2008, in the west of Moscow, just a few steps away from her apartment block. She was attacked at the moment she was returning home from friends.

One of the most chilling facts concerning the case is that, as was later revealed, there were several eyewitnesses – none of whom called the police, Russian Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper says.

As the girl was unconscious and could not resist or cry for help, the people who saw what was happening decided that it was “a couple in love.”

“I saw right under my window a man and a woman were making love,” said one of the eye-witnesses, “and only in the morning we found out that this was a murder.”

One of the witnesses later described the man as aged 25 to 30 years and wearing an orange jacket which resembled the Moscow street cleaners’ uniform.

It should be noted that the majority of Moscow’s street cleaners are migrant workers.

After torturing the girl throughout the night, the attacker strangled her with the collar of her own sweater.

The event became one of the most discussed in the Russian blogosphere at the time, and about ten days after the murder, outraged people living in the district gathered for a meeting. They demanded that the murderer be found as soon as possible.

Russian nationalists also reacted strongly, declaring that if the authorities didn’t start solving the problem of the excessive number of migrant workers in Moscow, they would take matters into their own hands.

In early December last year, a 'militant organization of Russian nationalists' declared that it had killed a migrant worker from Central Asia, and promised to leave his head near the council of the district where Anna was murdered.

A human head really was found in a street litter bin close to the council building and appeared to be that of 20-year-old loader Salekh Azizov, Kommersant daily says.

Farkhod Tursunov was detained some three weeks after the murder. According to Komsomolskaya Pravda, he told investigators that he was drunk that day.