The trial on Chechen commander Salman Raduyev started in Dagestan

The litigation over the heads of the Chechen terrorist groups started in the capital of the republic of Dagestan. Salman Raduyev, Turpal-Ali Atgeriyev, Aslanbek Alkhakhurov, and Hussein Guysumov are on trial. The cell holding the Chechen bandits charged with the assault on the civil Dagestan towns Kizlyar and Pervomayskoye are guarded by the soldiers of the Russian Special Forces.

The court hearings are of an open character; they started at 10 a.m. Moscow time. The process commenced with the words from the Russian Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov. For the first time in over 40 years, the Prosecutor General is acting as the state prosecutor at the litigation. The last occasion like that took place back in 1960, in the case with the American pilot of the US U-2 plane that was downed in the air space above the city of Sverdlovsk (which is now called Yekaterinburg).

The Russian officials say that the case against Salman Raduyev and his accomplices will be open to its maximum. Vladimir Ustinov has recently stated that the process is supposed to prove that Russia is struggling with terrorism not only by means of the force but also by lawful means. Ustinov stressed that the punishment must fit the crimes committed by the convicted. About 300 gunmen commanded by Salman Raduyev attacked the town of Kizlyar on the personal instructions of Chechen leader Jokhar Dudayev. The attack took place on January 9, 1996. The militants seized the maternity hospital and the clinic. They had some 3000 hostages, mainly women and children. Using 200 hostages as for cover, the gunmen left Kizlyar on January 10, but they were stopped by federal forces near the settlement of Pervomayskoye. Many of the hostages were released, but Raduyev himself and a group of his people escaped into Chechnya’s territory.

As a result of the bandit actions, 78 soldiers and Dagestan’s civilians were killed. The sum of the material damage caused to the town totalled 269 million rubles.

On the photo: Jokhar Dudayev with his son and Salman Raduyev (right)


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