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Russia jails Putin murder plotter for 10 years

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Russia on Tuesday handed down a 10-year sentence to a man who confessed to plotting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin by blowing up his motorcade, the prosecutor-general's office said.

Prosecutors had accused Ilya Pyanzin of drawing up the plot as a member of an armed group created on the orders of Chechnya's top Islamist rebel Doku Umarov.

At a closed hearing, Moscow city court sentenced Pyanzin to 10 years in a penal colony with a harsh regime, the prosecutor-general's office said on its website.

Pyanzin pleaded guilty to banditry, plotting an attempt on the life on a state official and illegally preparing and storing explosives, the statement said.

Pyanzin said he joined an armed gang in Ukraine in 2011 that plotted to blow up a car filled with explosives along the route of then-premier Putin's motorcade in Moscow.

The Ukrainian authorities seized Pyanzin and another plotter in January 2012 after a third gang member died in a fire that apparently broke out as the plotters were building a homemade explosive device.

Russia aired televised confessions by Pyanzin and his fellow alleged plotter shortly before the March 2012 presidential election, prompting critics to suggest it was a Kremlin stunt to drum up support for Putin.

Pyanzin cut a strange figure in photographs taken when he was detained, as his face was daubed with a bright green liquid disinfectant that is usually used on children's cuts and bruises.

Pyanzin, a Kazakh national, was extradited to Russia in August 2012 and the case was investigated by the FSB security service.

The other alleged plotter, Adam Osmayev, is standing trial in Ukraine.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130910/russia-jails-putin-murder-plotter-10-years