MOSCOW, October 13 (Itar-Tass) — Russia's Supreme Court on Thursday will look into the legitimacy of the verdict for former member of the Federation Council from Bashkortostan Igor Izemestyev, sentenced to life imprisonment for contract murders and terrorism.
The appeal was lodged by the lawyers of the convicted person, who asked to overturn the verdict and drop criminal prosecution in connection with Izmestyev's non-involvement in the crime he had been accused of.
The lawyers of other defendants within the case also appealed against the verdict and asked the court to mitigate the sentences for their clients.
On December 28, 2010 the Moscow City Court found Izmestyev guilty of murders and terrorism and sentenced him to life imprisonment. "The court rules to sentence Igor Izmesteyv to life imprisonment, Sergei Finagin - to 23 years in jail, Imran Ilaysov - to 20 years in jail, and Yuri Mamonov to 6 years in jail. Imir Ibragimov was given a four-year suspended sentence. Mamonov, who had been on recognizance, was taken in custody in the courtroom.
According to the verdict, "Izmestyev and the members of the so-called Kingisepp gang are guilty of murders and terrorism."
Izmestyev was convicted together with members of the so-called Kingisepp gang. They were charged with banditry, masterminding murders, attempted murders, bribery and other crimes.
"The investigators said the gang members committed more than 20 serious and very serious crimes, including 12 murders," spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General's Office Marina Gridneva said, noting that Izmestyev was one of the masterminds in the gang.
The prosecutor said "we largely agree with the verdict by the Moscow City Court for Igor Izmestyev and other defendants."
The case materials were marked "confidential," and the court only announced the substantive provisions.
In all, the investigators ascertained Izmestyev's involvement in 24 counts of crime. "The investigators of the Main Investigation Department of the Investigation Committee, together with agents of the Federal Security Service and Interior Ministry personnel, ascertained 24 episodes of Izmestyev's criminal activity, including two terrorist attacks, 14 murders and five attempted murders," SK spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.
"The gang's main objective was to commit contract hits, and remove Izmestyev's business rivals. A majority of crimes were committed in Moscow and Ufa. One murder was committed in Minsk. The gang operated in the period from 1992 to 2004," according to the spokesman.
The evidence within the case comprises 97 volumes. The investigators carried out more than 100 searches and 1,000 additional questionings of the defendants. More than 175 expert examinations were carried out.
At one point, the Moscow City Court began to try the case by jury, but it dissolved it. The case was reviewed by a trio of professional judges, as the cases over terrorism no longer qualify for jury trials.
Izmestyev, 42, was detained at the Bishkek airport by agents of Russia' s Federal Security Service on January 16, 2007.
He was charged with masterminding the murder of notary Galina Perepelkina, the wife of his former business partner Yuri Bushev, the murder of a retired navy officer, Ronex firm employee Oleg Bulatov, the masterminding of the murder of production manager of the Novo-Ufimsky refinery Salavat Gainanov, the murder of chief accountant of Bashneftekhimtorg Valery Speransky and a number of assassinations and murders committed in the period from 1998 to 2003.
Also, the investigators said he masterminded the arson of a print shop in the town of Zlatoust, Chelyabinsk Region, in August 2003, and the blasting of a car in Ufa, near the building of Bashneftekhim in November 2003, when two guards were killed.
On top of that, he was accused of tax evasion and attempted bribery of FSB agent Oleg Nuzhdenov, in order to learn about the investigation into the case over tax evasion, opened against Korus-Holding, a company he owned.
Izmestyev claimed he was innocent.
He was elected representative of Bashkortostan at the Federation Council in March 2003. On December 12, 2007, his powers as senator were terminated.