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Russia's Supreme Court reaffirms life sentence to former MP Vladimir Izmestyev

October 13, 2011, 20:57 UTC+3

Izmestyev represented the region of Bashkortostan in the Federation Council, the upper house

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MOSCOW, October 13 (Itar-Tass) — Russia's Supreme Court on Thursday reaffirmed the legality of a court sentence to a former member of the upper house of parliament, Vladimir Izmestyev, who was sentenced for life for contract murders, terrorism and other heinous crimes.

Izmestyev represented the region of Bashkortostan in the Federation Council, the upper house.

By reaffirming the sentence, the Supreme Court turned down a cassation of the defenders who asked for overruling the sentence and annulling the criminal case due to Izmestyev's non-involvement in the crimes he was accused of.

The sentence has taken legal effect.

Along with this, the court cut down by six months the jail terms to members of the so- called Kingisepp grouping, Sergei Finagin and Alexander Ivanov. The two will be supposed to spend 22.5 years and 14 years in high security prisons.

As regards Izmestyev, the court eliminated two episodes related to an attempted murder but the judges did not find grounds for mitigating the sentence or revoking it altogether.

The former MP addressed the court with the aid of a videoconference. He said he “did commit mistakes in the past, but who doesn’t?”

Izmestyev said that anyway his erroneous steps were not the errors he had been accused of.

He sized up his sentence as illegitimate, ungrounded and unfair.

“I didn’t have the motives to commit all these that I’m charged with and I didn’t even know many of those people and this was proved in the courtroom,” Izmestyev said.

“The court procedure itself had an accusative slant and I was sentenced to an overly tough punishment,” he said.

Izmestyev’s lawyers told Itar-Tass his defense believes the judges encroached on a range of clauses of the European Convention, including the right to a fair carriage of justice. In connection with this, the lawyers will file a petition with the European Court for Human Rights.

Moscow City Court passed a guilty verdict on Izmestyev December 28, 2010, saying the man was guilty of participation in the so-called Kingisepp criminal grouping, as well as of murders and terrorism.

The judges sentenced Izmestyev for life, Sergei Finagin, to 23 years, Imran Ilyasov, to 20 years, Yuri Mamonov and Imir Ibragimov, to 6 years and 4 years respectively.

More specifically, Izmestyev was charged with the organization of a chain of murders and arson in the printing house of the Chelyabinsk region.

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