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ST. PETERSBURG, February 16. /TASS/. A Moscow court has sentenced a 19-year-old man who fought in Syria for the international terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra to seven year in a penitentiary, a TASS correspondent reported from the Moscow Region Court on Thursday.
"The court has ruled to recognize Islamzhon Zakhidov guilty and sentence him for the totality of the crimes committed to seven years in a general regime penal colony," Judge Oleg Moskvitin read out the court’s award.
The prosecutors demanded the court award a sentence of ten years in custody. An extenuating circumstance, according to the prosecutors, was Zakhidov’s being under age at the moment of the crime and his being under his father’s influence.
Zakhidov’s lawyer, Yuri Vinogradov, asked the court to award the mildest punishment possible as the young man had been actually enticed to Syria by his father under an invented pretext. According to the lawyer, shortly after reaching Syria, Zakhidov managed to flee back to Russia, to his mother. Moreover, Zakhidov made a plea deal which made it possible to use his testimony to open a number of criminal cases.
Zakhidov, a Russian citizen of Kyrgyz origin, was charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist organization (article 205.5 of the Russian Criminal Code) and undergoing training for further terrorist activities (article 205.3). Investigators established that Zakhidov arrived in Syria in 2015. After a training course, he took part in combat operations fighting for terrorists against the Syrian government army. In 2016, he left Syria for Turkey from where he was deported to Russia in May 2016. He has been under arrest since June 2016.