Group of Young People Found Guilty of Murdering Two Guest Workers

On July 29, 2008, the Saratov Oblast' law court issued the guilty verdict to Andrey Koretskiy, Vitaliy Grishin and Pavel Zakutko for their participation in an attack against immigrant construction workers which resulted in two murders.

In June last year, a small conflict in an electronic gaming room between a certain Abdulov - a guest worker from the North Caucasus - and the manager, escalated to a severe attack by a group of young people (supposedly supporting the manager) of a nearly-finished building where guest workers lived and worked. There were somewhere between 30 and 60 attackers, the majority of which were between 18 and 20 years of age. The attack was relatively well organized: the phone lines were cut so that the guard could not alert the police; only about 15 people entered the building, while the rest remained outside to guard the exits.

Hearing the angry group, the workers tried to hide, some jumped out in the street, but two of them - Zurab Albastov and Azrutdin Galimov remained behind. Albastov's mutilated body was found with hammer, shovel, and wooden bars injuries; the 32-year old was a Chechen distance law student and left behind a wife and two small children. The second worker was found still alive by the police, but his skull bones were shattered - he died in the hospital five days later.

The court found Andrey Koretskiy and Vitaliy Grishin guilty for the murder of Zurab Albastov, and Pavel Zakutko guilty for killing Azrutdin Galimov (in this latter murder, four other people from the group, who were not identified, reportedly participated). Although the ethnic element is very clear in their actions, the defendants were convicted for "murder perfected for hooligan motives' (Article 105, Paragraph 2, Line "j' of the Russian Criminal Code). The court also found reason for ameliorating circumstances, and the accused finally received 15, 15, and 13 years of prison respectively, effective from August 1.