Sunday, 20 April 2014

Court sentences alleged member of Russian criminal group to 22 years

1 March 2013

Prague, Feb 28 (CTK) - The Prague Municipal Court yesterday sentenced Andranik Soghoyan, alleged Russian-language mafia boss or "vor v zakone," in absentia to 22 years in jail for ordering the murder of an Armenian businessman.

The verdict has not taken effect yet.

According to the indictment, Soghoyan, who is staying abroad now, ordered and organised the murder in 2007, but the hired assassin killed a wrong man and stabbed another one by mistake.

The lower level court acquitted Soghoyan twice in the past, but the case was repeatedly returned to it by the appeals court.

Soghoyan's accomplices were given sentences ranging from 12 to 18 years yesterday.

Soghoyan was originally charged with organising a murder and with an attempted murder, like his accomplice Gilani Aliyev. The court yesterday changed the latter crime's qualification to blackmail.

The other suspects sentenced in connection with the murder are Magomed Aliyev, Arsen Kakosyan and Arsen Arakelyan.

According to the indictment, Soghoyan and Gilani Aliyev agreed to have the Armenian businessman killed.

Asked to secure the murder, Magomed Aliyev hired Ukrainian Timur Tretyakov whom he brought to Prague's central Wenceslas Square on November 13, 2007, where Tretyakov attacked another Armenian man with a knife.

A quick medical intervention then saved the man's life.

For another attempt two weeks later, Tretyakov received a firearm from Arakelyan, while Kakosyan told him where the victim lived and what car it used.

However, Tretyakov failed again, shooting at a wrong victim by mistake. He killed a 25-year-old man who by coincidence drove the same type of car that the victim was supposed to drive.

Tretyakov was previously sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Magomed Aliyev was sentenced to 3.5 years for blackmail.

Soghoyan and the other suspects have pleaded innocent since the beginning.

Soghoyan was released from custody after the first acquitting verdict. According to media information, he probably left for Armenia to organise the local underworld's activities.

He asked for his Czech trial to continue in his absence.

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