Mahilyow Regional Court sentences gang member to death over four murders

The gang targeted foreign nationals who were sleeping in their cars parked on the roadside at night...

A judge of the Mahilyow Regional Court on September 14 sentenced Ihar Myalik, a member of a crime gang, to death on a charge of murdering four people to steal their cars on the Mahilyow to Homyel road in 2009, BelaPAN reports.

Another member of the three-strong gang, Alyaksandr Sychow, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The two jujutsu instructors pleaded guilty to the charges, offered an apology to relatives of the victims and urged the judge to be merciful to them.

Gang leader Alyaksandr Kozyraw, who founded the Belarusian National Association of Jujutsu and Self Defense, died suddenly this past April.

The gang targeted foreign nationals who were sleeping in their cars parked on the roadside at night, the judge heard.

On July 25, two of the gangsters attempted to steal a Chevrolet Tahoe from a couple from St. Petersburg near the village of Abidavichy, according to the prosecution. Both spouses received gunshot wounds, but the husband managed to start the car and flee with his wife.

The trio also killed a citizen of Russia and stole his Volkswagen Golf on August 22, murdered two citizens of Moldova, stealing their Alfa Romeo on the night of September 6, and murdered a citizen of Russia and stole his Mitsubishi Pajero Sport six days later, the prosecution said.

The three men were arrested on September 12.

The convicts are set to appeal the sentences.