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21 Jul, 2008 11:04

Skinhead gang stands trial in Moscow

13 skinheads, 12 of them underage, will go on trial in Moscow next Monday. They are charged with two murders and 10 attempted murders. The investigators say they filmed their attacks on non-Russians and later posted videos on the web.

“The preliminary hearing has agreed the trail will be heard by a judge alone. The  case will be heard on July 28. It will be held in camera because some of the defendants are underage,” Anna Usachyova, Moscow City Court Spokesperson, said.

One of the victims was Sergey Nikolaev brutally beaten with a baseball bat and then stabbed to death last October.

The group is alleged to have been particularly active in the second half of last year.

“The fact that this case found its way to court, and the example of people sentenced to life for the Cherkizovo market blast shows that we are moving in the right direction – but there's still a lot to do,” Semyon Charny from Moscow Human Rights Bureau.

Government statistics show this year there have already been more racially motivated murders than in 2007.

Law makers are getting tougher, and so are the court sentences.

This May four leaders of an extremist nationalist group were sentenced to life in prison for the 2006 deadly bombing of a multi-ethnic market.