MOSCOW, November 14 - RAPSI. The Russian Healthcare Ministry has put together a fifth expert appraisal in the case against mixed martial artist Rasul Mirzayev, who is accused of punching 19-year-old student Ivan Agafonov to death, and has submitted it to the court, attorney Oksana Mikhalkina told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com).
"I found out today that the expert appraisal was submitted to court. The conclusions of the appraisal will not be announced before the trial, but it is now clear that the hearing will be held on Thursday," Mikhalkina said.
Previously, Judge Andrey Fedin decided to postpone the case at the Health Ministry's request. The ministry asked for time to find experts from other departments to carry out a forensic examination.
Prior to his arrest, Mirzayev had been widely regarded as a promising MMA fighter. He was undefeated in the ring and two of his five victories were won with knockout punches. On August 16, 2011, between the incident and his arrest, Mirzayev made headlines in the MMA world for signing a professional multi-fight contract with sponsor Bellator Fighting Championships.
Mirzayev was initially charged with intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm, resulting in Agafonov's death. During their fight outside the nightclub, the 19-year-old student received a blow to the head and collapsed. He died in a hospital several days later without regaining consciousness.
The defense has insisted on reclassifying the charges against the martial artist, asserting that Agafonov died as a result of hitting the ground as opposed to directly from the blow. Numerous examinations have been held in the case to gauge the power of the punch and its relation to Agafonov's death.
Mirzayev faces up to 15 years in prison.