Supreme Court rules against sentences in Russian general murder case

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MOSCOW, November 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday against "mild" prison sentences handed down last year to three men convicted of killing Russian border guard general Vitaly Gamov, and sent the case for reconsideration.

The court granted appeals by the prosecutor's office and the general's widow, who had said a court in the Far Eastern region of Sakhalin had given the three men excessively mild sentences.

On May 21, 2002, Alexei Anikin, Alexei Britov and Sergei Malyutin hurled Molotov cocktails through the windows of General Gamov's apartment in the regional capital of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Gamov died of his injuries a week later.

The men, who were only arrested over three years later, were sentenced to four years in prison for manslaughter on November 17, 2006. They were also each ordered to pay 400,000 rubles ($16,360) in damages to Gen. Gamov's widow and son.

The prosecution also said that previous court hearings on the murder of General Gamov had violated a number of provisions of the Criminal Procedural Code.

Gamov's murder was believed to have been linked to his crackdown on poachers involved in the illegal fishing trade with Japan, China, and South Korea.

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