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Dubai court cuts sentence in Chechen murder case

Dubai, December 22, 2010

A Dubai court on Wednesday reduced to three years the life sentences handed to two men for their role in the assassination of Sulim Yamadayev, a prominent foe of the Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Makhsood Jan Asmatov of Tajikistan and Iranian Mehdi Taqi Dahuria were convicted in April of aiding and abetting the murder, but an appeal court reduced the penalty to three years in jail, according to a ruling read in court.

The new ruling was made after Dahuria's lawyer produced a document in which Yamadayev's family waived their rights to seek criminal retribution and financial compensation.

Yamadayev, one of Kadyrov's top commanders until he fled Chechnya in 2008, was shot last year in the car park of a luxury apartment block in Dubai with a gold-coloured Russian handgun.

Dahuria was convicted of monitoring Yamadayev in Dubai and providing his address and the murder weapon to the assassins. Prosecutors said Asmatov also kept tabs on Yamadayev.

Dubai police have accused a close adviser to Kadyrov, former deputy prime minister Adam Delimkhanov, of masterminding the assassination. Delimkhanov has denied involvement.   

Russia fought two wars in the 1990s against Chechen separatists before rebels from the Kadyrov clan switched sides and were allowed to run the local government.   

Yamadayev was the fifth Chechen living abroad to be killed in the space of six months. Four other suspects are wanted by Dubai police, including Delimkhanov, now a pro-Kremlin member of parliament. Russia's constitution bans the extradition of nationals for crimes committed abroad. - Reuters




Tags: murder | Dubai court | Chechen |

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