Skinhead gang sentenced

The Moscow City Court has handed sentences to ten skinheads, found guilty of attacking people of non-Slavic origin. At the time crimes were committed most of the accused were underage.

Seven of the 11 members of the gang were found guilty of three attacks on citizens of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and China – all in the period between February 12 and March 7, 2008. During the attacks, gang members brutally beat the victims.

While attacking the Kyrgyz citizen, the mastermind behind the gang, Ilya Shutko, 19, stabbed him eight times. This resulted in victim’s death in hospital. Shutko has already been convicted of the murder in a separate case and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.

Shutko received 10 years in a a standard regime penal colony, as the judge had taken into consideration his earlier sentence. The other gang leader Evgenia Zhikhareva received eight years in a juvenile correction centre .

Ruslan Pertz, Oleg Levshin and Oleg Sinodov have received 38 months, 42 months and 48 months suspended sentences respectively, with five years’ probation. This means they can’t change their residence or school without prior notification of authorities. Sergey Gordeev will spend the next five years in a juvenile correction centre.

Yury Matyukhov was sentenced to 7.5 years in a standard regime penal colony, with 8.5-year sentences handed to Pavel Sokolov and Marat Zhuchkov. The toughest sentence – 10 years in a maximum security prison – was handed to Aleksandr Efimov.

The sentences can be appealed in the Supreme Court within 10 days. Meanwhile, prosecutors said the punishment that the accused received is lighter than it should be.

“We insisted all the accused receive a custodial sentence. Because of the nature of the crimes they committed, they are dangers to society,” said prosecutor Galina Karpova. “But because of their young age, the court decided to hand down a lighter punishment.”

Two members of the gang did not appear in court today, as they are awaiting new charges – including terrorism – to be pressed against them.

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