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Court in California has sentenced two Soviet emigrants to death for kidnapping
A court in California has sentenced two Soviet emigrants to death for kidnapping and brutally murdering five fellow Soviet emigrants. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian formally sentenced Jurijus Kadamovas, 40, from Lithuania and Iouri Mikhel, 41, from St. Petersburg, Monday. A jury found the two guilty in February for the ransom killings of four men and a woman in 2001-2002 and for subsequent money laundering. The local Orange County Register newspaper said the convicts strangled their victims after receiving a $1.2 million ransom from their relatives and disposed of their bodies in a local reservoir. Defense attorneys said they would appeal the ruling. The newspaper quoted the defense as saying during the trial that their clients had grown up under a Communist regime, and became criminals in order to survive. In addition to Mikhel and Kadamovas, another defendant in the case, Ukrainian-born Piotr Krylov, may also face capital punishment if found guilty. Two other suspects, including Kadamovas's girlfriend, are cooperating with investigators.
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