Skip to comments.Qatar Court Jails Russians Over Chechen Killing(Russian Spies Kills a Chechen Leader)
Posted on 06/30/2004 8:20:18 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
Qatar Court Jails Russians Over Chechen Killing
Wed Jun 30, 6:37 AM ET
By Andrew Hammond
DOHA (Reuters) - A court in Qatar sentenced two Russian spies on Wednesday to life imprisonment for killing a Chechen rebel leader in the Gulf state and said Moscow was behind the assassination.
Judge Ibrahim al-Nisf said the two men, Anatoly Belashkov and Vassily Bogachev, acted on orders from Moscow. "The Russian leadership issued an order to assassinate the former Chechen leader (Zelimkhan) Yandarbiyev," he said.
"The plan was discussed at Russian intelligence headquarters in Moscow."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied the two men's involvement in the killing.
"Moscow's position is still that the two Russian citizens detained in Qatar had nothing to do with the attack on Yandarbiyev," he said in Indonesia. "We will continue to work for the early return of the Russian nationals to their country."
Russia has acknowledged the two men were spies.
Defense lawyer Dimitri Afanasiev told Reuters the bearded men, who appeared in court in tracksuits and were surrounded by guards, would appeal their sentence and seek a transfer to Russia. Both remained impassive during trial and sentencing.
"I'm not surprised by the verdict but I am happy that the judge rejected the prosecution request for the death penalty," he said. He added his clients had been tortured.
Yandarbiyev sought refuge in Qatar after Russia stormed into the rebel province of Chechnya (news - web sites) in 1999.
A car bomb killed him and two others on their way home from a mosque. The attack shocked tiny, oil-rich Qatar, which prides itself on its security and low crime rate, and threatened a diplomatic breach between U.S. ally Qatar and Russia.
Nisf said Qatari law allowed judges to reduce sentences under certain circumstances. The Russians planned to kill Yandarbiyev outside the mosque but moved the site to reduce casualties, he said.
"I'm happy with the verdict. It's what they deserve," Yandarbiyev's widow Malika, veiled and dressed in black, told reporters after the ruling.
Yandarbiyev, who was briefly president of Chechnya after rebels defeated the Russian army in 1996, was added at Russia's request last year to a U.N. list of people suspected of links to the al Qaeda militant network.
But Chechen separatist Akhmed Zakayev said the court had shown "who is the terrorist and who is the victim of terror."
"In the last ten years the Russians have tried to make Chechen nationalists look like the terrorists. (Russian President Vladimir) Putin should be considered a war criminal," he said in the courtroom after the verdict.
A third Russian, who had diplomatic status, was freed and expelled from Qatar before the trial. The diplomat, named in court as Alexander Fetisov, helped plot the attack, Nisf said.
Moscow had said it wanted a "friendly" verdict for the two Russians, who pleaded not guilty to Yandarbiyev's murder. One pleaded guilty to "deception and forgery."
Observers said before the verdict they expected the men to be found guilty but eventually freed under a deal between the two governments, pointing to a pardon granted last year to a Jordanian journalist after Jordan's King Abdullah intervened.
Afanasiev said he would ask for his clients to be moved from the conservative Muslim state to Russia. "They are under difficult circumstances. They cannot practice their orthodox (Christian) religion in the cultural environment of Qatar," he said.
While we are at it, let's enjoy a nice Russian Folksong. For all its notoriety, Red Army had a great chorus.
Sorry, folks. The above link does not work in FR.
Good show Russia now bring your boys home.
Please keep these Russians in your prayers.
Zakayev is under suspicion for helping to mastermind the theatre takeover in Moscow.
Zakayev with Vanessa Redgrave, who bailed him out to the tune of $50,000, after he was arrested in Britain on behalf of Russia.
So sorry that you have these terrorists in your country and Vanessa there to assist them, Ivan.
Vanessa is still at it. She used to be a PLO supporter. Probably, she still is. An old unrepentant Trotzkyite.
It's always good to hear that muslim terrorists are killed. But a car bomb seems so tacky.
One would think that the Russians are capable of doing such things more quietly.
In any event I hope they're freed soon and welcomed home as heroes !!
Yes but CIA help to capture them...whose side is DC on?
I thought that was proven to be incorrect somewhere back there.
If this is true it is extremely disturbing. I always knew most of the CIA was full of treacherous scum. I thought this would change after 9/11. I think the only gov't organization I'd trust in these matters would be the U.S. military, esp. the all-male U.S. special forces. But really, should we be surprised? Look at the 38-year old CIA guy who risked his butt defending this country in Afghanistan, only to be thrown to the wolves by his own CIA. He is now in custody in NC facing a certain federal prosecution and sentence in a level-5 max. federal prison (where he will face unspeakable brutality and humiliation). I hope he writes a tell-all book in prison and posts it w/o CIA approval on the internet.
Read page 100 of Bob Baer's "Sleeping with the Devil", where he jokes about the CIA's role back in the 1980s-90s and how if Ashcroft were AG back then he'd (Baer) probably be in Gitmo! To further your disgust with the CIA read that piece of garbage, "Imperial Hubris", by "Anonymous" (Ed Lenew). He all but says the Muslim hatred of the U.S. is justified because of, among other things, U.S. condoning Russian "brutality against Chechnya." He brings up similar BS throughout the book. He's is an Islamist cheerleader. Geez, and we wonder why the CIA would envy the record of a broken clock!
Both the CIA and FBI are treacherous SOBs. They need to scrap the CIA and start allowing private companies, staffed with fmr. special forces members, handle the intel work for this country.
Sorry, but Israel now one of Russia's closest allies in both trade (oil and weapons) and to joint military training. Serbs also supported by Israelies. To be enemy of Israel is to surrender 2 million Russians to Arab Islamics, many of whom Orthodox Christians. No thank you. Also, if Israel falls, then Islamics will not allow ANY Orthodox to holy shrines, again no thank you. Better the shrines stand under Jews then burn under Islamics.
You are not from StormFront, are you?