Boxing champ killer’s 20-year term confirmed

Federal High Court judges dismissed appeals to lower the sentence of a man who stabbed a former boxing champion to death.Judge Brigitte Kunst, who headed the three-member senate in today’s (Thurs) trial, said the Chechen defendant’s 20-year sentence will not be lowered as requested by his lawyer Lennart Binder.Zaurbek Bersanov, 27, was found guilty of stabbing Serbian-born Edip Sekowitsch nicknamed the “Bull of Serbia” five times just metres from the retired boxer’s bar in Vienna-Wieden on 26 August 2008.Binder claimed his client suffered from post-traumatic stress after being tortured in his home country before fleeing to Austria.Bersanov told OGH judges he acted “out of fear”. He said: “Give me a chance to integrate myself into society. I totally accept my guilt.”The 27-year-old’s lawyer explained: “My client was afraid Sekowtisch would crush his head.”Police found the accused sitting on the sidewalk not far from the blood-covered body of Sekowitsch outside the Serbian-born boxer’s pub.The former boxer – who was a WAA light-middleweight world champion in 1988 and European champion the following year – reportedly threw Bersanov out for acting aggressively towards other guests.Binder said his client “used his knife in an exaggerated reaction full of fear” against 50-year-old Sekowitsch who died before an ambulance arrived at the scene.OGH judges also dismissed the state prosecution’s appeal to turn the 20-year sentence issued last December into life.