MOSCOW, August 27 (RAPSI) – The prosecutors have requested that the court sentence Mikhail Glushchenko, a former lawmaker in the State Duma, Russian parliament's lower chamber, to 17 years in prison, or four years more than stated earlier, for the murder of fellow parliamentarian Galina Starovoitova in 1998, attorney, Alexander Afanasyev, told the media on Thursday.

Earlier, the prosecutor requested 13 years in prison for Glushchenko.

The defense attorneys argued that Glushchenko should be released because the statute of limitation has expired in his case.

The Oktyabrsky District Court of St. Petersburg was expected to announce its decision on Thursday.

“The hearing has been put off until Friday because Glushchenko needed medical assistance due to his deteriorating health,” Afanasyev said.

The previous hearing had been delayed for the same reason.

Starovoitova was killed in St. Petersburg in November 1998. Her assistant Ruslan Linkov was wounded in the attack.

Eight suspects, including Yury Kolchin, a former employee of Russia’s military intelligence service (GRU), were charged with taking part in the assassination. In June 2005, a court in St. Petersburg sentenced all the men to prison terms varying from 11 to 23.5 years.

In 2004, a witness in the murder named Glushchenko as one of its masterminds.

As part of his plea agreement, Glushchenko reportedly agreed to testify against Vladimir Barsukov, who is believed to be a leader of one of the country’s most powerful criminal syndicates.

Barsukov, who changed his name from Kumarin earlier, went on trial on charges of attempted murder. He was sentenced in November 2009 to 14 years in prison for illegal corporate raiding, extortion and fraud, among other crimes. The sentence was reconsidered in March 2012, and Barsukov received 15 years in prison.

Glushchenko was also charged in another criminal case with extortion and sentenced in March 2012 to eight years in prison.