Members of extremist group deny they committed terrorist acts at court hearing
MOSCOW, January 11 - RAPSI. The alleged members of the so-called Autonomous Militant Terrorist Organization admitted in court that they participated in explosions and acts of arson, but they denied they were terrorist acts.
According to the court materials, a group of eight Muscovites headed by student Ivan Astashin, who is also known as "Spider," organized a terrorist organization, which at certain stages of its activity cooperated with the movement against illegal immigration. The investigation maintains that they committed eight terrorist attacks against law enforcement authorities and Caucasus natives.
According to the investigation, Astashin manufactured explosive devices using his knowledge of chemistry. He also organized the activity of the group's other members.
During the first hearing, eight defendants agreed with the facts described in the charges, but they disagreed that the investigators should qualify their actions as terrorism.
"We did not want to change the constitutional system. Our actions stemmed from motives of hooliganism. I was not part of any organization," one defendant said.
The prosecution believes that Astashin established and managed the organization. According to the prosecution he firmly believe that Russians are superior to other nations and promoted radical nationalism.