Stavropol Territorial Court Convicts 5 Karachai-Circassia Residents

The Stavropol Territorial court has found five residents of the Karachai-Circassian Republic, North Caucasus, guilty of staging terrorist acts, involvement in militant groupings, illegal carrying of arms and making explosives. Brothers Aslan and Murat Bastanov and Muratbi Tuganbayev were sentenced to 15 years, Taikan Frantsuzov to 13.5 and Muratbi Bairamukov to 9 years in prison, with the sentences to be served in a strict regime labour camp. They proved to have undergone training in Jordani-born terrorist Hattab's camp in Chechnya. On returning to Karachai-Circassia, they joined a wahabite paramilitary grouping. The men were earlier charged with staging apartment building blasts in Moscow and Volgodonsk in autumn, 1999. The charges, however, were dropped for failure of evidence.

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