Suspended Sentence for Medvedev Hoax

A court in the Altai region city of Barnaul on Monday convicted a university student of distributing a false warning of a plot to kill President-elect Dmitry Medvedev during his February presidential campaign stop in the Siberian city.

Barnaul's Oktyabrsky District Court convicted Anton Yepikhin, 20, and gave him a 16-month suspended sentence for informing a local media outlet on Feb. 10 that a fictitious organization called Soldiers of the Holy Jihad in North Asia planned to assassinate Medvedev, Interfax reported.

Yepikhin also said the terrorist group was planning to bomb polling stations in the Altai region during the March 2 election, which Medvedev won. He sent the warnings from an Internet cafe.

Yepikhin testified in court that he had only been "pretending to be a terrorist" and that it was "a prank gone wrong," Interfax said. He was convicted under a new law aimed at cracking down on fraudulent terrorist warnings.