26 November 2020, 13:24
Rostov-on-Don court sentences leader of Aum Shinrikyo, banned in Russia, to 15 years in high-security penitentiary
Rostov-on-Don, November 26, Interfax - The Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don has given a 15-year sentence to Mikhail Ustyantsev, the leader of the Russian cell of the Aum Shinrikyo terrorist group, banned in Russia, after convicting him of establishing a terrorist cell on Russian territory, the court's press service said on Thursday.
"The court sentenced the defendant [Mikhail Ustyantsev] to 15 years in a high-security correctional facility," the press service said.
The sentence is yet to come into force and can be contested by the sides at the Military Court of Appeals.
As reported earlier, Russian Federal Security Service officers put a stop to Ustyantsev's activities when he was organizing the latest gathering of cell members on May 1, 2018. He was later arrested.
Ustyantsev was charged with setting up a terrorist community, organizing the activities of a terrorist organization, creating a religious or social organization whose work is associated with violence against citizens or the infliction of other harm to their health, and heading such a community. The state prosecutor demanded 18 years in a high-security penitentiary for Ustyantsev.
According to investigators, Ustyantsev was the head of the Russian cell of Aum Shinrikyo, whose activities are banned in accordance with a decision of the Russian Supreme Court. According to data from the Russian Investigative Committee, he organized the dissemination of a religious doctrine among residents of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Volgograd "encouraging regular adepts to give him money, which he passed to the Japanese leaders of the terrorist community Aum Shinrikyo, thus financing terrorism."
Ustyantsev's accomplices have been declared wanted.
Members of Aum Shinrikyo, a religious syncretic extremist sect founded by Shoko Asahara, released poisonous sarin gas in the Tokyo metro in March 1995. A total of 13 people were killed and about 6,000 were hurt in the attack. In all, 188 Aum Shinrikyo members faced charges as part of that case.
In September 2016, the Russian Supreme Court banned the activities of the Aum Shinrikyo international religious organization.