Chechens accused of attack against Ministry of Emergency Situations officers spend 3 years in remand prison without fault

Chechens accused of attack against Ministry of Emergency Situations officers spend 3 years in remand prison without fault
Khuseyn Tsetiev

The investigation concluded that Sayd-Magomed, Khuseyn Tsetiev and Khamid Razhapov were not involved in the crime.

The Main Investigations Directorate of the Moscow Department of the Russian Ministry of Interior has closed a criminal case against 3 Chechens related to a high-profile shooting of the Ministry of Emergency Situations officers in New Moscow. The investigation concluded that Sayd-Magomed, Khuseyn Tsetiev and Khamid Razhapov who had spent 3 years in the remand prison had not not involved in the crime. According to Kommersant daily, the criminal case is being investigated as to unknown persons, despite the fact that a year ago, 4 natives of the Chechen Republic came to police and confessed of assault on the Ministry of Emergency Situations officers.

The CrimeRussia had earlier reported that the event that had provided the basis for the criminal case had occurred in 2014 in the village of Rasskazovka on Staroborovskoe highway. On September 21, there occurred a car accident with 3 vehicles involved on the highway. The car accident’s participants called the police and Ministry of Emergency Situations officers, due to the fact that there was a danger of flame development of one of the cars. Before fire-fighters arrived, 3 Chechens came to the scene and started conversation with a woman who owned Volkswagen Touareg and was a victim of the accident. The men wanted to buy her car for 200 thousand rubles ($2.9 thousand), but the owner answered with a plump “no.” When the Ministry of Emergency Situations officers arrived at the scene, they covered up for the Touareg’s owner and asked the Chechens to leave. The short conversation between the Ministry’s officers and the Chechens escalate into a scuffle and fight. A dozen of fellow townsmen who lived in rented accommodation nearby came to the Chechens’ aid. One of them opened fire with a rubber-bullet handgun. The shooter shot in the forehead of one of the officers with the plastic bullets. Another one was shot in his back, and the third one - in his leg. The total of 13 shells were found at the scene.

After a few days, law enforcement officers detained 3 suspects: Sayd-Magomed, Khuseyn Tsetiev and Khamid Razhapov. However, the suspects did not plead guilty. Their defence states they were not at the scene. They have an alibi confirmed by CCTV. They did not leave their apartment on that day. In 2017, Sheikh Dautov, a local, came to Chechnya’s Achkhoy-Martanovsky police division and confessed it was him and his friends - Alikhan Aziev, Magomed Artsikhaev, and Adam Zakriev - who took part in the fight against the Ministry of Emergency Situations officers. He also stated it was him who shot out of the rubber-bullet handgun. He provided the gun, and the expert evaluation proved it was the gun involved in the incident.

The new suspects were about to be witnesses for the defence in Moscow’s Shcherbinsky court, however court did not start the hearings in order not to violate the priorities related to provision of evidence. When it was the defence turn to provide evidence, 4 Chechens disappeared.

It is still unknown where the real perpetrators are. With that, the case is still ongoing on charges of attacking of the Ministry’s officers. The criminal case under item 1 of article 27 of Russia’s Criminal Code (Liability for a Crime Committed with Two Forms of Guilt) against now-former suspects has been suspended. Their lawyer is preparing a suit on compensation for moral harm for illegal criminal prosecution.

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