For the past six days, the trial of Mixed Martial Arts lightweight champion Rasul “Black Tiger” Mirzaev has been underway in Moscow. Mirzaev stands accused of having negligently caused the death of 19-year-old student Ivan Agafonov after inflicting grave injuries in a street brawl near Moscow’s Garazh night club on August 13, 2011.
Proceedings on Monday featured witnesses for both the defense and prosecution, recounting two different sides to the story. Artyom Grigorian, a friend of Mirzaev’s who was with him at the club that night, testified for the defense. Alexander Fadin, a friend of the deceased Agafonov’s, testified for the prosecution.
Defense witness’ account
Artyom Grigorian told the court that he first noticed Agafonov well before the fight because the latter was acting raucous. Around 3am, Grigorian recounts having seen Mirzaev in front of the club with a girl named Alla. They were saying goodbye. Shortly thereafter, Agafonov rolled a toy car up to Mirzaev. Grigorian was not paying close attention at that point to the words exchanged between them. His attention was piqued when a friend of Agafonov’s approached, at which point Agafonov turned to his friend and said rather loudly, “Let’s pick up some hookers.” Mirzaev then told Agafonov that Alla was his girlfriend, and the two engaged in a short verbal exchange. Mirzaev then stepped on Agafonov’s toy car. Agafonov moved toward Mirzaev, apparently preparing to hit him. Mirzaev then slapped Agafonov, who collapsed. At that point none of Agafonov’s friends tried to help him, rather Mirzaev and his friends tried to help. Agafonov was complaining of a headache. He was incomprehensible at that point.
Grigorian went on to describe Mirzaev as a very relaxed, non-aggressive person.
Prosecution witness’ account
According to Alexander Fadin, Agafonov was a bit tipsy on that fateful evening. While their group of friends was talking outside the club, Agafonov pulled a toy car out of a mutual friend’s vehicle. Agafonov then approached some girls, but Fadin didn’t pay attention to what transpired next, until he heard a loud blow. When he turned around, he saw Agafonov lying on the ground. His friends tried to help him to his feet. After the strike, he was confused and less talkative than usual, but he seemed more or less ok. It took some convincing to motivate him to go to seek medical attention. However, his condition deteriorated quickly upon arriving at the hospital. Fadin emphatically believes that if the doctors had been quicker and more concerned with the patient, he would have survived. He cited numerous examples to illustrate the doctors’ alleged apathy.
Mirzaev showed a rare display of interest in the latter’s testimony. Throughout the trial, he has maintained a fairly stoic disregard for the proceedings. Generally when confronted with witnesses who were at the club that night, Mirzaev is vigilant about asking whether he-Mirzaev himself-rushed to help Agafonov after his fall.