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MOSCOW, April 5 (Itar-Tass) — The Supreme Court will meet on April 9 to consider an appeal against the verdict for 13 members of the NCO-Sever group, convicted for dozens of murders and terrorist attack preparation.
"We'll hear out the prosecutor on Monday, April 9, and if nothing extraordinary happens, the board will retreat to pass a decision. It might be announced at around 17:00, Moscow time," a Supreme Court judge said.
At the hearing on Wednesday, the convicted persons made statements through video links from remand prisons and their lawyers, too, presented their arguments. They asked to overturn the verdict and send the case for retrial. Specifically, the convicted persons claimed pressure.
Addressing the judges, the father of one of the gang's victims Alexander Kolodkin asked to leave the verdict unchanged. He expressed confidence that the person who had killed his son, had been sent to prison for life. The killer was a NCO-Sever group member.
After the Wednesday hearing, the father of the murdered person and the father of one of the convicted NCO-Sever activists nearly clashed. The father of the convicted person insisted that his son was innocent. His reluctant opponent asked him to leave his alone. The police officer who was on duty on the floor prevented the conflict by leading each men to different elevators.
Earlier, the Moscow district military court sentenced five of 13 skinheads to life in prison; the others were given various sentences. One was given a suspended sentence. The defendants were found guilty of very serious crimes, including 27 murders, preparation of a terrorist attack, attempted murder of law-enforcement office and participation in an extremist group.
At the trial, lawyers insisted that their clients "were dangerous to the society, but not to the extent the court assigns to them." The injured parties criticized the military court's verdict as too soft. During the arguments of the parties, the prosecutor demanded life imprisonment for seven defendants and longer prison terms for others. However, after the reading of the verdict, the prosecutor said his agency was satisfied with the punishment and would not appeal.
The court ascertained that the defendants had been members of the NCO-Sever extremist organization, a grassroot of the National-Socialist Society banned by the Supreme Court as an extremist organization in February 2010.
NCO-Sever leader Lev Molotkov and 4th-year student of the Moscow College of Service Nikolai Mikhailov were sentenced to life imprisonment. Vasilisa Kovalyova was sentenced to 19 years.