Three verdicts announced for rightwing radicals on June 19

On June 19, 2007, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, several verdicts were announced in criminal cases against rightwing extremists.

In St. Petersburg the jury found a group of young men guilty in the murder of Roland Epassak, a citizen of Congo, who was stabbed to death in September, 2005. This was the second attempt to try the defendants in that case. On July 25, 2006, a jury acquitted all four suspects of the charges, and they were released from custody, but the verdict was reversed on appeal of the prosecution. In the re-trial which followed the appeal, 4 people were convicted of murder with a racist motive and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment (from 7 to 14 years).

In Moscow, three skinheads, affiliated with the neo-nazi Slavic Union, were convicted of premeditated act of hooliganism, infliction of light bodily harm and assault. They were charged in connection with the attack on the young antifascists, Alexander Ryukhin, who was stabbed to death, and Egor Tomsky, who was also attacked, but who managed to survive. They were sentenced to 4.5 up to 6 years of imprisonment.

Thus, nobody was convicted of the murder itself. Three more neo-nazis have still not been detained, but are on the federal wanted list. Those convicted were charged with hooliganism, i.e. an attack with a weapon or with some items which are used as a weapon, and received almost maximum sentences provided for these articles by the Russian Criminal code. There is no hate motive in the verdict, because there is no provision for the ideological hatred in Russian Criminal code (only hate on the basis of race, religion, and gender is considered as an aggravating circumstance).

On the same day the Supreme Court of Russia upheld the conviction of rightwing activists Mikhail Klevachov and Vladimir Vlasov in the case of the Grozny-Moscow train detonation of June 12, 2005. The trial lasted for a long time and was accompanied by a lot of scandals. The first jury acquitted them on all charges on November, 2006 , but this verdict was reversed. On April 10, 2007, the second jury found them guilty of attempted murder with a motive of ethnic hatred, terrorism and illegal purchasing and keeping of explosives and sentenced them to 20 and 22 years of imprisonment.