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Muscovite Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison For Citibank Hostage-Taking

Businessman Aram Petrosyan at his court hearing on September 7.

A man who took four people hostage at a Citibank branch in downtown Moscow last year has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

In a September 7 ruling, a court in the Russian capital found Aram Petrosyan guilty of hostage-taking and terrorism.

Petrosyan's lawyer, Aleksandr Karabanov, called the sentence "too harsh" and vowed to appeal.

Authorities say Petrosyan, a 56-year-old Muscovite, entered a bank branch on August 24, 2016, claimed he had a bomb, and took four people hostage.

The hostages, three bank employees and customer, were freed unharmed several hours later.

The supposed explosive device Petrosyan had around his neck turned out to be fake.

Petrosyan has said his intention was to attract top officials' attention to problems faced by bankrupted businessmen in Russia.

Based on reporting by Rapsinews, Interfax, and TASS