Court acquitted all Primorsky Partisans

Court acquitted all Primorsky Partisans
Alexey Chernyshev/Kommersant

The Prosecutor's Office intends to prove the defendants’ guilt in the Supreme Court.

Primorsky Regional Court in Vladivostok acquitted the five defendants in the case of the murder of four people. Alexey Nikitin and Vadim Kovtun were released in the courtroom, Alexander Kovtun, Maxim Kirillov, Vladimir Ilyutikov remained to serve their sentences for other criminal episodes.

According to RIA Novosti, the judge also noted that the acquitted persons of interest are entitled to a compensation: compensation of their salary for the period spent in custody, compensation for attorney's fees.

The Primorye Prosecutors announced their intention to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Russia and to insist on the pre-trial restrictions in the form of detention for Nikitin and Vadim Kovtun. According to the public prosecution, the persons of interest were involved in the killing of four residents of the Kirov Region in September 2009. It is to be recalled that, on 20th of July, the members of the Primorsky Partisans group were acquitted by the jurors. At the same time, the Court ordered the release of Vadim Kovtun and Alexey Nikitin from custody in the courtroom.

The group was operating in Primorye in 2009-2010. The journalists called the gang Primorsky Partisans, after they posted a video message on the Internet, which explained that in this way they are fighting a police lawlessness.

During the arrest, which took place in Ussuriysk, two suspects - Andrey Sukhorada and Alexander Sladkikh – shot themselves. The trial of the detained gang members began in June 2011. The first trial with the jury in this case lasted more than a year. In February 2014 the jury brought in the verdict of guilty. On its basis, on April 28, 2014, Primorsky Regional Court sentenced the leader of Primorsky Partisans Alexander Kovtun, as well as Vladimir Nikitin and Alexey Ilyutikov to life imprisonment. Roman Savchenko and Maxim Kirillov were sentenced to 25 and 22 years of imprisonment respectively. Vadim Kovtun was sentenced to eight years and two months in prison. However, in spring 2015, the convicted appealed against the court's decision. As a result, the Supreme Court commuted the punishment to all persons involved in this high-profile case. Alexander Kovtun received 25 years in prison instead of life imprisonment, Vladimir Ilyutikov was sentenced to 24 years in prison. The punishment was mitigated by the fact that the court found their guilt unproven on several episodes.

The repeated trial was set due to the fact that the Supreme Court completely overturned the verdict against the two members of the gang: Alexey Nikitin and Vadim Kovtun. Their case was sent for a retrial. Also, the previously satisfied claims of relatives of those killed and injured in the amount of approximately 10 million rubles were also sent for a retrial. In the repeated trial, which began in March 2016, the episode with the robberies and the murder of four people was reviewed.

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