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22 Sep, 2008 14:12

Teenage skinheads jailed for hate crimes

A 13-strong gang of skinheads from Moscow is behind bars after a court in the city convicted them of hate crimes. The teenagers were found guilty of all the charges against them, including murder, and were sentenced to prison terms of between three and te

The gang carried out a series of attacks on people of Asian appearance in 2007, including the murder of international chess player Sergey Nikolaev in October. The gang targeted him because of his dark skin, before battering him to death with a baseball bat.

To learn more about Sergey Nikolayev's murder follow the link

The youths cannot be named because they were all under eighteen when the crimes were committed. The media were not allowed into court and details of the case remain sketchy. 

The court ruled that a racial motive was proved in most of the cases.

Prosecutors had asked for the maximum 22 years in jail for certain skinheads in the gang.

Defence lawyers say they are quite satisfied with the verdict, although some of the convicted are expected to appeal to a higher court.

The 13-strong gang were sentenced to 100 years in prison in total. Sentences varied from three to ten years.

All will be detained in special facilities for juveniles.

They recorded their attacks on cameras and later posted the videos on the web.

The group carried out most of its attacks in the second half of 2007.

According to Human Rights campaigners, 71 people have been killed in racially-motivated attacks in Russia this year.