A heartbroken father has narrated how he spent two days identifying his daughter’s dismembered body parts after she was allegedly killed by her lover.
Internationally-acclaimed Napoleon expert Professor Oleg Sokolov, 64, shot his student lover Anastasia Yeschenko before cutting up her corpse, prosecutors allege.
The respected academic then dumped her body parts in a river in St Petersburg, it is alleged.
Her father Oleg Yeschenko told her murder trial that he was forced to identify his daughter by examining human remains pulled from the Moika River.
“On 11 and 12 November I identified the head, arm and torso of my daughter,” he testified.
The victim’s mother Galina said she knew her daughter was in a “romantic relationship” with Sokolov but the student had “hesitated” about marrying the Napoleon expert, her university teacher.
Galina earlier testified that Anastasia was on the point of breaking up with him.
“She had a fight with Sokolov because she wanted to go to a friend’s birthday. He hit her and called her ungrateful,” she told the court.
A neighbour of Sokolov testified that she overheard the pair in a shouting match on the night the PhD student was killed.
Angelina Volskaya, 24, said she heard the couple’s final quarrel through the thin wall of her apartment.
“I heard Yeshchenko loudly say: ‘Don’t touch me, please’.”
Sokolov ranted at his lover and there was the sound of crashing furniture, it was claimed.
“I heard at least five blows, after each the girl screamed…
“Then she said, ‘Okay, I’m not going anywhere, you’re not a bastard, just don’t touch me.’
“Then I heard her loud screeching…two or three times.”
The alleged row was on the night that the student died, it was later established.
Forensic expert Viktor Vasilenko, said: ”The death happened four or five days before the body parts were found.”
Sokolov had allegedly first tried to suffocate her “but this was not the cause of death”.
“Four shots were fired, three of them penetrating,” the forensic expert said.
“The shots were fired in a short period of time and from a close distance of between 15 centimetres to one and a half metres….
“The person who dismembered the body did not know the human anatomy well.”
Sokolov is accused of shooting and dismembering Ms Yeschenko.
The court will later hear the professor’s defence.
He won the right for his lawyers to have access to messages on his and his lover’s smartphones.
This followed an earlier court session in which he ranted from the dock: “I insist this evidence is considered openly.”
The messages would show “the terrifying things she was writing to me” and “monstrous insults” to his children from previous relationships, he claimed.
“People must see this,” he stormed, prompting the judge to order him: “Sokolov, calm down.”
His rant went on, flailing his arms and wildly wagging his finger, as he claimed: “It’s disgusting, vile, and only by knowing this can people understand what has happened.”