Terrorist receives life sentence

Dokka Dzhantemirov, one of the terrorists who shot down a Mi-26 helicopter and killed 127 people, was sentenced to life.

The Rostov Regional Court found Mr. Dzhantemirov guilty on all counts.

In particular, Mr. Dzhantemirov was found guilty of terrorism, premeditated murder with special cruelty, banditry, and attempt murder of servicemen.

In line with the decision, the victims will be paid 50,000-100,000 rubles.

A representative of the victims, Andranik Abadzhan, said that the victims would most likely appeal the sentence as regards satisfaction of their claims. According to him, the court has not satisfied the claims of the victims in regard to Russia's Defense Ministry and Chechnya's Finance Ministry.

According to the victims, a life sentence in a maximum security prison is not enough for Mr. Dzhantemirov. When the verdict was announced, many of the victims demanded death sentence for the accused.

Militants shot down the Mi-26 helicopter in Khankala in August 2002. Mr. Dzhantemirov was tried on six articles of the Russian Federation Criminal Code, including terrorism, murder and participation in an armed group.

According to the verdict, on the day of the terrorist attack, Dzhantemirov and four accomplices, who are still wanted, transported a manportable surface to air missile system (Manpads) from a cache to a destroyed building. Then, he and one of the others took the missile system to the second floor of the building, where the attack later took place.

Mr. Dzhantemirov was also accused of preparing the missile system to be fired. The accused videotaped the attack on the helicopter.

The state prosecutor is fully satisfied with the sentence that the Rostov Regional Court gave Mr. Dzhantemirov on Thursday.

"The sentence is legal, grounded and just," Anatoly Arsentyev, the head of the Prosecutor General's Department for the Southern Federal District, told journalists.

In his words, Mr. Dzhantermirov got an adequate punishment for what he did.

Mr. Arsentyev said that today's verdict was the result of "very tense, dangerous and complex work of internal affairs and Federal Security Service bodies." At the same time, he said that the other individuals involved in the crime are now being searched for. In line with the materials of the criminal case, another four people are on the wanted list. Mr. Arsentyev said he was confident that soon they would be captured too.

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