Russian expert on Napoleon arrested for murder

Professor tries to drown severed female hands in Moika River

Professor tries to drown severed female hands in Moika River

Sokolov reportedly enjoyed a sexual relationship with a 24-year-old former female student and, according to the investigation cited by Russian media, both were earlier engaged in various research projects about the Napoleon era while participating in historical roleplay including authentic dress, and re-enactment of certain events of the era.

The police report reportedly says that he planned to commit suicide dressed as Napoleon following his murder of Anastasia.

The suspect is identified as Oleg Sokolov, 63, a senior staffer at Saint Petersburg State University (SPbU).

But the historian reportedly confessed to killing his lover "accidentally" following an argument.

Both he and his lover studied French history and liked to wear period costumes, with Sokolov dressing up as Napoleon.

The historian, who got France's Legion of Honneur in 2003, is the creator of books on French statesman and protection force chief Napoleon Bonaparte and had acted as a historical consultant on several movies.

Some students said he was a "freak" who called his lover "Josephine" (Napoleon's first wife) and asked to be addressed as "Sire".

Many expressed dismay, saying Sokolov had always been known for his hostile behaviour but officials had ignored complaints.

The organisation immediately sought to distance itself from the controversy.

Sokolov was also a member of the Institute of Social, Economic and Political Sciences (ISSEP) in Lyons, France, which has been described as a far-right academy.

On Saturday the society announced that he had been stripped of his position on its scientific committee.

"We learn with horror.the atrocious crime of which Oleg Sokolov is guilty", the statement said, adding that they could never have imagined that Sokolov, "an academic of such standing" could commit such an "odious act".

ISSEP was founded by Marine Le Pen's niece, Marion Marechal.

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