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Moscow Court Convicts Skinheads

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A Moscow court convicted seven members of a skinhead gang for their roles in 20 murders and 12 assaults.

The victims of the attacks between August 2006 and October 2007 were from the Caucasus region in south Russia and central Asian republics. None of the victims was Jewish.

Gang members were in their teens or early 20s at the time of the killings. Two defendants, Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, both 17, were considered leaders of the gang and the jury decided Nov. 28 that they did not deserve leniency.

Sentencing will be held Dec. 10.

Two members were acquitted for lack of evidence after the jury split its votes.

There were more than 280 charges against the gang, which was influenced by chauvinist and nationalist rhetoric prescribing the inferiority of non-Slavics.

The same court recently charged a similar group of 13, all but one minors, to three to 10 years in prison for the murder of two people and assaults on nine others.

“Both groups followed a common pattern in committing these crimes,” said the prosecutor in the case involving seven skinheads, the Interfax news agency reported.

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