Monday, May 21, 2018

"Gang blogger" Vasily Fedorovich stands trial in Sverdlovsk

The Sverdlovsk Regional Court began the trial of alleged "gang blogger" Vasily Fedorovich last week.Fedorovich and eight of his suspected accomplices will stand trial for the murder of 14 individuals, including one U.S. citizen, and will also face felony charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, making death threats, robbery, vandalism, theft, sexual assault, inciting hatred, humiliation of human dignity, illegal occupation of a vehicle without intent to steal and banditry, ITAR-TASS reports.

State prosecutors involved in the proceedings have said they expect the trail to be lengthy because it involves a large number of defendants and several dozen witnesses.

The police's investigation of Fedorovich and his co-defendants' activities began in December 2006 and lasted through June 2012. The scope of the investigation spanned throughout Yekaterinburg and other portions of the Sverdlovsk and Kurgan regions, according to ITAR-TASS.

"In numerous raids, residence suspects found physical evidence, including a large number of weapons and firearms (several tens)," Sverdlovsk region Investigative Department Senior Assistant Alexander Shulga said, ITAR-TASS reports.

Prior to Fedorovich and his accomplices' arrests, investigators recovered knives, axes, pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns and brass knuckles from the residences of the suspects.

Initially, investigators identified a total of 11 criminal collaborators, including the now-deceased gang leader Daniel Potashnikov. Of those suspects, Semen Ermolinsky remains at large. The Sverdlovsk Interior Ministry is offering a $29,000 reward for any information which leads to the arrest of Ermolinsky, according to ITAR-TASS.