Russian accused of throwing twins from window

AP News
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 7:33 AM

A Russian military officer has been accused of attempted murder for allegedly throwing the twin 8-year-old daughters of his common-law wife from their eighth-floor apartment, officials said Friday. Both girls survived the fall.

Russia's top investigative body said that Capt. Nikolai Zakharkin, 31, has been arrested. It said investigators allege that he attacked the girls early Thursday morning because his wife had returned home late that night, leaving him angry and jealous.

One of the girls remained in an emergency care unit on Friday, while the other one was hospitalized in less serious condition, said the Prosecutor General's Investigative Committee.

It said that before the girls were attacked, the officer sent an SMS-message to his common-law wife saying: "You may bid farewell to Dasha and Katya."

Zakharkin denied throwing the girls out of the window, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The fate of the two girls has generated widespread media attention and public criticism in Russia. Newspaper reports said the girls only survived because trees broke their fall from the apartment window and they landed on wet earth.

RIA Novosti quoted a doctor as saying at least one of the girls was asleep when she fell out of the window.