A court in Dushanbe Thursday handed down the sentence to Behruz Shrifov, who was found guilty of the killing. He stabbed to death in January 24-year-old Parviz Davlatbekov, dressed as Father Frost, in an attack motivated by religious hatred, a court spokesman said.

The victim was attacked as he visited relatives. Father Frost by tradition brings Russian children presents at New Year. Russian cultural influence remains strong in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic. Two accomplices of the accused were found guilty of hooliganism and received four-year sentences.