Moscow synagogue attacker appeals jail sentence

April 4, 2006 18:05

The lawyer of a man sentenced to 13 years in prison for attacking worshippers in a Moscow synagogue filed an appeal with Russia's Supreme Court on Tuesday to have his client's sentence reduced, arguing he was mentally unstable. Last month a court found Alexander Koptsev guilty of attempted murder, driven by racist motives, for stabbing and wounding nine men at the synagogue with a hunting knife in January. Defense lawyer Vladimir Kirsanov asked the high court for a lighter sentence for Koptsev, saying he was psychologically ill, ITAR-Tass reported. Kirsanov also argued that Koptsev did not kill anyone and that the injuries he inflicted did not render any of the victims disabled, according to the news agency. The court dropped a charge of inciting interethnic hatred, and prosecution lawyers have already appealed to include the charge, ITAR-Tass reported.

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