MOSCOW (Jun. 7)
A Russian judge has sentenced to death a former tax inspector convicted of murdering seven people — including a Jewish family on the eve of their emigration to Israel.
An investigation ruled out anti-Semitism as a motive in the murder of the Beilin family.
According to the verdict, the murderer, Valery Kulakov, killed his former lover, Yevgenia Beilin, her mother and the lover’s 3-year-old son in a pique of jealousy. The three were stabbed to death a few hours before they planned to board a flight to Israel, where Yevgenia’s husband already lives.
Also killed were two Jewish relatives of the Beilins and another couple, who apparently witnessed the October 1996 killing spree.
Beilin, who lived in Magnitogorsk, which is located in the Ural Mountains, was separated from her husband and had promised to marry Kulakov so that they could emigrate to Israel together. Shortly before their planned departure, however, she apparently changed her mind and told Kulakov she planned to reunite with her husband.
Kulakov had an indifferent expression on his face as the judge read the verdict. His lawyer has filed an appeal.
Whether or not the appeal is successful, it is unlikely that Kulakov will be executed.
Nobody has been executed in Russia since August 1996, when the country introduced a moratorium on executions.