Celebrated Russian Napoleon expert goes on trial for chopping up lover

THE trial of a decorated Russian historian accused of murdering and dismembering his young lover began today in a case that has fuelled intense debate in Russia over domestic violence.

Oleg Sokolov, a history lecturer who received France’s Legion d’Honneur from Jacques Chirac in 2003, was arrested last year on suspicion of murder after he was hauled out of the freezing Moika River in Saint Petersburg drunk with a backpack containing a woman’s arms.