ST. PETERSBURG, September 24 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – Three defendants in a case over firing at officers of a transport special-purpose police squad illegally acting as cash-in-transit guards were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 20 to 22 years, the United press service of St. Petersburg courts told RAPSI on Thursday.

Arkady Nusimovich and Gennady Levinsky were given 22 years in high-security prison each; while the third man Alexey Gevorkyan received 20 years as he acted as a driver and was not personally involved in the murder.

The case was heard for the second time. Nusimovich, Levinsky and Gevorkyan, earlier acquitted by the St. Petersburg City Court, were unanimously found guilty and deserving no leniency by a jury after the first ruling had been reversed by Russia’s Supreme Court.

Earlier, the prosecution moved for life sentences as concerns Nusimovich and Levinsky, and 24 years for Gevorkyan in maximum security prisons. 

The defendants pled not guilty; the defense believed their innocence was proved in the framework of court hearings.

Prosecutors alleged that in 2015 in St. Petersburg two crime figures fired at the policemen after blocking their service vehicle with a van; one officer was killed, another suffered a heavy wound. The attackers could steal 24 million rubles (about $320,000 at the current exchange rate).

According to investigators, in 2014 and 2015 officers of a transport special-purpose police squad were having a side job as cash-in-transit guards earning 50,000 rubles (about $670) a month; altogether they carried out 22 operations. The unlawful nature of their actions has been established by a court.