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Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Monday, 12 April 2010 10:47 UK

Leading Moscow judge gunned down

The BBC's Richard Galpin describes the scene of the attack

A leading Russian federal judge has been shot dead as he was leaving his apartment building in central Moscow, court officials have said.

Eduard Chuvashov was leaving for work on Monday morning when he was shot by an unknown gunman who fled the scene.

He had presided over several cases involving nationalist organisations and had received death threats.

In February, he sentenced nine members of a neo-Nazi skinhead group called the White Wolves to up to 23 years in jail.

The group was behind a series of racist murders.

He also worked on cases involving Russian officials accused of corruption and embezzlement.

No bodyguard

"An unidentified person shot Mr Chuvashov in the entrance to an apartment block and then fled," a police source was quoted by Ria Novosti as saying, adding that investigators were at the scene.

There were reports that CCTV cameras recorded the shooting, by a man who appeared to be in his 20s.

The judge is reported to have died instantly after being hit in the head and chest.

Just last week Mr Chuvashov had convicted the teenage leader of the most notorious skinhead gang in Russia for the murder of three more immigrants, says the BBC's Richard Galpin in Moscow.

The teenager was already serving a long sentence for killing 20 people.

There are reports that despite receiving death threats, Mr Chuvashov had refused to have bodyguards.



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