Russian senator Rauf Arashukov and father Raul Arashukov sentenced to life for 2010 murders in Karachaevo-Cherkessia

Russian Senator Rauf Arashukov and his father Raul have been sentenced to life in prison for the 2010 murders of Fral Shebzukhov and Aslan Zhukov in Karachaevo-Cherkessia. The verdict cites Arashukov's "special dangerousness to society.

The Russian judiciary today sentenced Russian Kremlin party senator Rauf Arashukov and his father to life imprisonment for a double murder committed in 2010.

Arashukov, a senator for Karachaevo-Cherkessia, was found guilty of organizing the murders of Fral Shebzukhov, an advisor to the president of that North Caucasian republic, and Aslan Zhukov, the leader of a local youth movement.

The verdict justifies the award of the maximum sentence – there is a moratorium on the death penalty – because of “Arashukov’s special dangerousness to society”.

In September a jury found Arashukov and his father, Raul, guilty of almost all the charges against them, including the creation of a criminal organization.

According to the Investigative Committee, in 2018 three defendants charged in Zhukov’s murder confessed their guilt and accused the senator of organizing the attack on behalf of his progenitor.

In January 2019 Arashukov was detained by security forces in the middle of the Senate session immediately after he was deprived of parliamentary immunity in a vote.

The senator made an attempt to leave the chamber, but the speaker of the upper house, Valentina Matviyenko, ordered him to remain in his seat and granted him the possibility to speak to reject the accusations leveled against him.

The senator’s father was arrested shortly thereafter after being accused of stealing more than 30 billion rubles (almost half a billion dollars) from the Gazprom gas consortium.

At the time, the Kremlin’s United Russia party expelled both father and son from the ranks of the ruling party.