Prosecutors demand long prison sentences for members of BORN extremist group
MOSCOW, April 14 (RAPSI, Alexei Afonsky) - On Tuesday, prosecutors requested sentences varying from 25 years to life in prison for Vyacheslav Isayev, Maxim Baklagin and Mikhail Volkov, three defendants from the BORN nationalist group, who were found guilty by a jury of homicide and attempted murder, RAPSI reported from the Moscow Regional Court.
In addition, if the judge agrees with the prosecutor, Baklagin and Volkov will be fined 900,000 ruble ($17,400) while Isayev will be fined 800,000 rubles ($15,500). Prosecutors also asked the court to uphold the jury’s not guilty verdict for the fourth defendant, Yury Tikhomirov who they found had not been involved in the crimes.
Earlier in the trial, the defense lawyers argued that the charges distorted actual events. They claimed that the killings and attacks against Central Asians and members of anti-fascist organizations by the BORN members were guided not by their beliefs and political views but by a hostile attitude toward specific individuals for their unlawful actions against Russians.
The prosecutors in turn maintained that they had presented enough evidence to find the defendants guilty. Volkov, Isayev and Baklagin admitted partial guilt, Tikhomirov denied the charges.
The Moscow Regional Court will hand down the sentences on April 21.
The defendants, members of BORN, have been charged with racketeering, illegal weapons trafficking and several counts of homicide, including the deaths of federal judge Eduard Chuvashov, lawyer Stanislav Markelov, and several leaders of Russian anti-fascist movements.
Markelov was killed in Moscow in January 2009. He was murdered for his activity in an anti-fascist movement, according to investigators.
Judge Chuvashov was shot and killed in the stairwell of his Moscow apartment building in 2010. During his career with the Moscow City Court, he presided over 20 high-profile criminal cases, some of which included ethnically motivated murder.
Nikita Tikhonov, who is deemed one of the group’s leaders, was convicted and sentenced in May 2011 to life in prison for the murder of Markelov and Novaya Gazeta journalist Anastasia Baburova.
Tikhonov got 18 extra years in prison last September for killing Chuvashov. His accomplice Yevgenia Khasis was given 18 years behind bars.
Ilya Goryachev, another member of BORN, is suspected of involvement in the murder of Judge Chuvashov. He was placed on the international wanted list and in November 2013 was extradited from Serbia.
His case is being heard separately.