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Nine Russians from a neo-Nazi group that called itself “Simbirsk White Power” were jailed for up to 22 years in connection with the murder of an African, investigators said.|
A court in the central Russian city of Ulyanovsk convicted three of the group’s members of killing the Cameroonian man, named by Russian investigators as Etizok Ndobe Ernest, in August 2008.
Ernest, who had worked as DJ with the nickname Black James, was attacked in a city square as he returned from work. His killers stabbed him repeatedly and slit his throat, an investigator told the Kommersant newspaper.
“When investigators identified the people who carried out this cruel murder, it turned out that they were all members of an extremist organisation called Simbirsk White Power,” Ulyanovsk investigators said in a statement.
Simbirsk is the original name of Ulyanovsk, located around 900 kilometres (560 miles) east of Moscow. In Soviet times the city was renamed after its best-known native, Vladimir Lenin, whose original surname was Ulyanov.
Three members of the racist group — Dmitry Nikitin, Vladimir Turutin and a minor who was not named — were convicted of murder for reasons of ethnic hatred, investigators said.
The other defendants, who included one woman, were found guilty of various charges including the organisation of an extremist group, attempted murder, robbery and hooliganism.
The nine neo-Nazis received sentences ranging from two to 22 years, investigators said.
The group carried out attacks on 10 non-Slavic people in 2008, which they filmed on mobile phones and posted on the Internet, prosecutors said in October. They also handed out racist leaflets and painted graffiti.
Russian courts have recently handed down heavy sentences to groups that took part in racist murders.
In February, nine young members of a Moscow group that called itself the White Wolves were sentenced for up to 23 years in prison for the racist murders of six people.
A total of 74 people were killed in racist attacks in Russia in 2009, a drop from the 120 people killed in 2008, according to the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, a group that tracks hate crimes.