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5 Oct, 2009 19:13

Neo-Nazi youngsters face life behind bars

A court in Moscow has begun hearing the case of 12 alleged neo-Nazis charged with 11 murders and one attempted murder.

The gang, known as “The White Wolves,” allegedly attacked their victims because they were viewed as “non-Slavic” by the thugs.

The trial will be held in front of a jury but behind closed doors, a decision opposed by the defense.

One of the suspect's lawyers says the accused have admitted only partial guilt of involvement.

“Most of the group is facing life imprisonment, but those who had not come of age at the time of the crime could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison,” said Aleksandr Vasiliev.

Notably, one of the leaders of the group is 18-year-old Aleksey Dzhavakhishvili, whose father is Georgian. The young man nevertheless sees himself as a representative of Russia, a Slavic nation, Interfax agency writes. Aleksey is accused of two killings.

According to the findings of the investigation, the youngsters united into a group in order to kill people of non-Slavic origins two years ago, on Adolph Hitler’s birthday. On the evening of April 20, 2007, Dzhavakhishvili and other members of the gang allegedly attacked and killed an Uzbekistani citizen. They filmed everything with a mobile phone.

Ten more murders followed before the youngsters were detained.