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Defendants in Sagra attack case plead not guilty

August 06, 2012, 14:41 UTC+3

A total of 23 residents of the Sverdlovsk Region, accused of an armed attack on the village of Sagra in the summer of 2011, stand trial

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YEKATERINBURG, August 6 (Itar-Tass) — During the trial in the case of disturbances in the Sagra village in the Sverdlovsk regional court the defendants have pleaded not guilty, the court’s press service told Itar-Tass.

“Today the court began to study the evidence in the case. The floor at the court meeting was given to the public prosecutor who announced the indictment. The trial will begin with the questioning of the complainants. They will give evidence with the use of video conferencing systems,” the source said.

A total of 23 residents of the Sverdlovsk Region, accused of an armed attack on the village of Sagra in the summer of 2011, stand trial.

According to investigators, at the end of June 2011 there was a quarrel between Sagra residents and Vyacheslav and Valentina Lebedevs who lived in the village. The villagers accused the married couple of stealing their property. Determined to take revenge, the Lebedevs turned for help to their relative Ivan Lebedev who created a banding group and at that time was serving a prison term. The married couple asked him to organise mass disorders in the village, promising for this a cash reward.

At the instruction of Lebedev his accomplice Shota Katamadze together with other members of the gang drew up a plan of attack on the village. After that the gang members quickly called their friends on the phone gathering at least 30 people.

Armed with a sawn-off shotgun, traumatic weapons, baseball bats, wooden sticks, metal rods and other items, they arrived in 13 cars in Sagra and staged disturbances. Demonstrating the weapons, the bandits were threatening the local residents with physical violence and made a few shots. The attackers left only after getting information that a police patrol was coming to the settlement.

During the investigation, more that 200 people have been questioned, a total of 83 expert examinations conducted.

In addition, members of the regional police force who failed to prevent the outbreak of a conflict in Sagra have been charged with negligence. The criminal case against another participant in the mass disorders who as a result of a forensic psychiatric examination was declared insane, was separated from other charges. The investigation through court has requested to take him to compulsory treatment.

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