Russian Supreme Court reduces sentences of two convicted terrorists
MOSCOW, December 11 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday reduced the sentences of two members of the so-called Autonomous Combat Terrorist Organization (ABTO), who were sent to prison for a series of terrorist attacks, RAPSI reports from the court.
In April 2012, the Moscow City Court sentenced several ABTO members to prison sentences ranging from three years (suspended) to 13 years for a series of terrorist attacks.
According to court documents, a group of eight Muscovites led by Ivan Astashin, a student, also known as Spider, established a terrorist organization that later had known ties with the Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI).
The investigators maintained that they had committed eight terrorist attacks against law enforcement authorities and Caucasus natives.
The investigators established that the defendants were complicit in a series of bombings and acts of arson, including at police stations and at a Federal Security Service (FSB) reception room.
On June 28, 2013, the Moscow City Court ruled that ABTO was a terrorist organization and banned it in Russia. The ruling is currently in force.
The Supreme Court has now granted the prosecutors’ motion to reduce Ivan Astashin’s sentence from 12.5 years to 9.9 years in a maximum security prison. The court ruled against granting the prosecutors’ motion to reduce the 9.5 year sentence of Bogdan Golonkov. At the same time, the court reversed the additional restriction of freedom part of the sentence the two men had received.
Astashin asked the Supreme Court Presidium to return his case to the Moscow Region Court for review rather than to the Moscow City Court that initially heard his case.
The two convicts’ lawyers wrote in their motions that their clients’ actions had not done considerable damage in any of the terrorist attacks for which they were convicted, that they were sentenced under Article 205 (Terrorism) of the Criminal Code without good reason, and that they consider their sentences too harsh.