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Home News Russian gang of police killers goes on trial

Russian gang of police killers goes on trial

Published on 06/06/2012

A court in Russia's Far East on Wednesday began hearing the case of six gang members charged with a carefully planned campaign of violence against police, killing two and wounding five.

The men — two of whom are brothers — face 11 different criminal charges that could see them jailed for decades, from murder to attempting to escape from prison. Two of them face life sentences.

The case caught the public imagination back in June 2010, when the gang went on an outlaw-style killing spree targeting police. After a massive manhunt, they were captured in a siege in which two members died.

The men were well equipped with “a whole arsenal of various types of weapons, special devices and camouflage clothing,” investigators said in a statement last month.

They first attacked two police in the city of Vladivostok, killing one and wounding the other, and taking their weapons, badges and money. Then they killed a policeman in a village, taking weapons and ammunition. They later also attacked a group of traffic policemen, wounding two.

When facing capture, they wounded two police officers in a shootout. Investigators said that two of the gang members committed suicide to avoid arrest.

The gang also killed four local residents in the densely forested region, investigators said.

The gang posted a video on the Internet claiming that they carried out the killings for ideological reasons because of the many crimes committed by police officers, saying that the public was too afraid to hit back.

Reflecting widespread distrust of police, Russian media compared the gang to wartime partisans and to a band of Robin Hood, the medieval outlaw of English folklore who robbed the rich and gave to the poor.