Russian jurists see increased danger after contract hit
The head of Moscow's city courts has said she sees increasing dangers for legal practitioners across Russia, after the contract killing of a senior Russian judge, according to a media report Wednesday.
At least 13 Moscow judges have requested bodyguards since the start of the year because they feel threatened, Olga Yegorova told the Kommersant newspaper.
She said she was "shocked" that people would try to manipulate trials this way, DPA reported.
"We do have a nationwide protection programme, but it urgently needs to be expanded," she said.
Observers say such attempts to influence court cases are politically motivated.
In April, unknown assailants killed judge Eduard Chuvashov in front of his Moscow apartment building. He had been involved in several high-profile cases against neo-Nazis and had turned down bodyguards despite threats.
Even President Dmitry Medvedev has repeatedly criticized the fact that court cases in Russia are routinely manipulated "by pressure, calls or money." A proposed judicial reform has, so far, not yielded any changes.