MOSCOW, June 28 (Itar-Tass) - The Moscow city court on Friday banned the activity in Russia of the Autonomous Combat Terrorist Organization (ABTO), ten participants of which were sentenced for terrorism in 2012.
The prosecutor noted in the courtroom that “the ban on the organization will demonstrate to the society that methods of fight used by the ABTO are inadmissible”. The head of the adolescent radical gang, Ivan Astashin, and his lawyer asked not to satisfy the demands of the prosecutor’s office and denied the very existence of the organization.
In April 2012, the Moscow city court sentenced ten members of the group to prison terms varying from three years of suspended sentence to 13 years in jail for a number of blasts and arsons as well as for plotting a terrorist act. They were found guilty under several articles of the Russian Criminal Code, including terrorism and appeals to extremist activity. Later the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation mitigated the sentence, sentencing Astashin to 12.5 years in prison.
Sources from the Moscow department of the Investigative Committee told Tass earlier that Astashin had been detained directly before staging a blast at a thermal power plant in Moscow.
According to investigators, in 2009 the accused teenagers set on fire a vending kiosk, threw Molotov cocktails at a building in which immigrants lived, set on fire a police precinct and a caf·.
In 2010 they burned down a police patrol car in south-western Moscow, a police precinct not far from the Tyoply Stan metro station in south-western Moscow, a vending kiosk, and also committed other similar crimes.
The group began its activity in 2009, and joined the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, but later withdrew from it.
Participants in the group are young people aged between 16 and 20, mostly school students and students. The organization was divided into several cells, operating in different parts of Moscow.