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Jury to pass verdict in "Primorye guerillas" case on January 27

January 22, 2014, 18:29 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
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VLADIVOSTOK, January 22. /ITAR-TASS/. A jury is expected to pass a verdict in the case against six gunmen accused of murders in the Primorye Territory on January 27. The mass media dubbed the defendants "Primorye guerillas" for murders and attacks on law-enforcement personnel.

At the Wednesday hearing, all the six defendants made their final statements. Two of them - Vadim Kovtun and Alexei Nikitin - pleaded not guilty to all the charges, while the others partially admitted their guilt.

The case came to the Primorye regional court back in June 2011, but it was unable to form a jury for a long time because candidates did not turn up for selection.

At one point, three volumes of the criminal case were found missing. They contained procedural documents which investigators acknowledged as evidence. It took the court several hours to restore the missing materials.

There are six persons in the prisoner's dock: Alexander Kovtun, Vadim Kovtun, Roman Savchenko, Maxim Kirillov, Vladimir Ilyutikov and Alexei Nikitin.

They were charged with three murders and there assassination attempts on the life of law-enforcement personnel. They were also accused of banditry, robbery, thefts, car thefts and illegal keeping of firearms.

The investigators said gang members committed several thefts and attacks in small settlements of the Primorye Territory in the spring of 2010. They stole cars, money and hunting rifles. The prosecutors said the gang had attacked police several times, killing two and wounding several others.

Regional authorities launched a sweeping manhunt. The gang's whereabouts were established on June 11, 2011. The gunmen offered armed resistance wounding two policemen. Two gang members committed suicide as police were storming the gang's hideout.

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