Head of Russian division of Aum Shinrikyo terror group sentenced to 15 years in prison

Mikhail Ustyantsev was apprehended on May 1, 2018, during organization of a meeting

TASS, Russia/November 26, 2020

Mikhail Ustyantsev, leader of the Russian division of the Aum Shinrikyo (currently known as Aleph) international terror group, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, Southern District military court press service told journalists Thursday.

"By the ruling of the court, the defendant was sentenced to a penalty of 15 years in a penal colony," the press service said.

Previously, the state prosecutor asked for a penalty of 18 years.

The court began reviewing Ustyantsev’s case, initiated over charges of "establishment of a terror group with a goal of propaganda, justification and support of terrorism;" "organization of a group deemed terrorist by the Russian law;" and "creation of a religious group, whose activity involves violence or causation of other harm to the citizens."

According to the investigation, in 2010, Ustyantsev conspired with people, wanted by the federal authorities, as well as with unidentified people, and created and led a division of the Aum Shinrikyo terror group division. The defendant organized dissemination of a religious doctrine among the residents of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Volgograd, which coerced the adepts to present him money, which he transferred to the leadership in Japan.

Ustyantsev was apprehended on May 1, 2018, during organization of a meeting. Arrest warrants have been issued against his accomplices.

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