Russia’s Supreme Court overrules acquittal for “Far Eastern Guerilla gang” members
MOSCOW, December 26 (RAPSI, Oleg Sivozhelezov) – The Supreme Court of Russia has overruled acquittal for five men in a criminal case of “Far Eastern Guerillas”, who were found innocent of several murders and robbery, RAPSI corrspondent reports from the courtroom on Monday.
This July, after a retrial, a jury found evidence presented by the prosecution not convincing and acquitted the defendants. The retrial was conducted with regard to the murder of four people, who were also robbed of valuables and drugs they had on them, in the Primorsky Krai.
The Supreme Court’s board of judges for criminal cases repealed the Primorsky Krai Court’s ruling after reviewing appeals filed by prosecutors and relatives of victims in this case. Several violations of litigation process were found: part of the jury did not disclose relevant information about themselves, while the lower court inappropriately dismissed some relevant evidence. Evidence included admittance of guilt by defendants made during interrogation conducted with violations. The case is set for retrial, no restrictive measures were ordered against former defendants who are currently free.
On July 28, defendants Alexey Nikitin and Vadim Kovtun were released in the courtroom while Alexander Kovtun, Vladimir Ilyutikov and Maksim Kirillov were kept in detention as they were to serve their time in relation to two other criminal cases.
The group gained notoriety after a series of assaults on civilians and law enforcement officers in 2010 left six dead.
The “Far Eastern Guerilla” gang was tracked down in a flat in the city of Ussuriysk in June 2011, and surrounded by law enforcement officials.
Two policemen were injured in a shootout with the gang members, two of whom committed suicide, according to the forensic medical examination.
On February 4, 2014, five of the defendants were found guilty by the jury of having participated in a criminal gang, while one was acquitted. Four gang members were convicted of killing police officers, and five were convicted of the murder of civilians.