New York, December 20, 2013–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today’s conviction by Moscow’s Lyublinsky court of Russian businessman Pavel Sopot for inciting the 2000 murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Igor Domnikov. The court sentenced Sopot to a seven-year term in a high-security prison, and ordered him to pay the journalist’s widow 1 million rubles (US$30,317) in compensation.
“We welcome today’s conviction of Pavel Sopot as an important step toward defeating impunity in the murder of journalist Igor Domnikov,” said CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia Coordinator Nina Ognianova. “We call on Russian authorities to build on this progress by continuing to pursue all potential masterminds of the crime. Only by investigating and prosecuting all those responsible in Domnikov’s brutal killing can justice be fully served.”
Domnikov, 42, worked as a reporter and special-projects editor for the independent Moscow-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta. He died two months after hammer-wielding assailants beat and left him for dead outside his Moscow apartment in May 2000. The attack was retaliation for Domnikov’s reporting on the Lipetsk authorities’ abuse of office. In 2007, five members of a notorious Russian criminal gang were convicted of murdering Domnikov.