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NEWS: Russian Officers Guilty of Assassination

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posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 06:43 AM
In a twist on the War on Terror, 2 Russian Intelligence officers were sentenced to life (25 years in Qatar) after being convicted for planting a bomb which killed the former Chechen President & rebel leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev.

Full Article Here

Yandarbiyev, Chechnya's acting president in 1996-1997, had lived in Qatar since 2000. Moscow had sought his extradition on charges of terrorism and links to al-Qaida. The United Nations and Washington had also linked him to terrorism.

"Today's decision by the Qatari court will show whether the Russian government itself can justifiably be called a terrorist organization," he said.

[edit on 30-6-2004 by John bull 1]

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 08:24 AM
In a related story Judge Ibrahim Saleh Al-Nisf accused the Russian government of ordering the assasination of the former Chechen president.

Complete story

Reading out the verdict during a brief public hearing, Nisf accused the "Russian leadership" of being behind the killing, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"The Russian leadership issued an order to assassinate the former Chechen leader Yandarbiyev," he said, adding the scheme was "discussed at Russian intelligence headquarters in Moscow ."

Yandarbiyev's widow, Malak, who attended the session, said she "accepted the verdict" and believed "that the two Russian agents were obliged by the Moscow government to carry out" their act.

The verdict "proves that the Russian government practices terrorism," said Ahmad Zakaiev, who presented Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov in the trial.

President Yandarbiyev photo : islam-online

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 08:35 AM
The Russians are claiming the convicted are innocent and urge the release of the soldiers as seen in this Pravda article.

Pravda Story

Moscow insists that the Russians are innocent and urges Qatar to free them. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Russian citizens "were staying lawfully in Qatar and fulfilled their information analysis mission as part of joint effort against international terrorism without any violations of the local legislation."

Russian representatives have emphasized that the Russians were seized illegally and violently. During the investigation the detainees were also subjected to psychological and physical exertion.

posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 11:32 AM
More information on the story with hints that a possible pardon or extradition back to Russia could be in the works to quiet this situation.

VOA Story

He adds that the convicted men will appeal the verdict and if that fails they will ask to be allowed to serve their sentences in Russia.

Russian and Qatari diplomats sought to downplay the implications of the case by agreeing to let the matter run its course in the courts.

Political analyst Masha Lipman, at the Carnegie Center in Moscow, says the ruling was expected even though it was a complicated case with political overtones.

"It looks like there was a lot of evidence indicated," she said. "I don't think the government of Qatar was interested in accusing people who did not commit the crime."

Some observers say the two governments may now negotiate a face-saving end to the case, either having the men pardoned or sent back to Russia.

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