Orkhan Zeinalov, a citizen of Azerbaijan, who is suspected of killing Yegor Shcherbakov, a resident of Biryulyovo, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Zeinalov pleaded not guilty in the Presnensky Court, where the investigator's request for his arrest was being considered, on Thursday, an Interfax correspondent has reported.

Zeinalov talked with the judge through an interpreter.

The investigator asked for Zeinalov to be taken into police custody because he does not live at the place where he is registered to live in Moscow and may hide from the investigators and the court. He also does not work and does not have a permanent income. "Zeinalov is charged with an especially grave crime and poses a threat to the public," the investigator said.

The prosecutor asked the court to back the investigator's request. "If released Zeinalov may continue engaging in criminal activities, hide from the investigators, and threaten witnesses. I believe that a softer measure of restraint can't be chosen," the prosecutor said.

The defense lawyers had asked the court to postpone the discussion of the investigator's request by 72 hours.

Zeinalov has asked to be released on bail.

Reports said earlier that a 25 year-old Muscovite, Yegor Shcherbakov, was killed in the Biryulyovo district in southern Moscow, when he was returning home with his girlfriend on October 10. The couple was approached by an unidentified man, who stabbed Shcherbakov following an argument. The young man died on the spot and the assailant fled the scene.

The murder sparked protests in the neighborhood.

The murderer has been identified as Orkhan Zeinalov, a native of Azerbaijan. He is on the most wanted lists in Russia and in Azerbaijan, where he is suspected of committing murder.

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