Friday, August 29, 2014
 
Follow sptimesonline on Facebook Follow sptimesonline on Twitter Follow sptimesonline on RSS
MOST READ



PARTNER NEWS



BLOGS



OPINION



WHERE TO GO?

The Romanovs in St. Petersburg

History of St. Petersburg Museum

Small Tragedy, Fatal Passion

Rimsky-Korsakov Apartment Museum

 

  Print this article Print this article

Moscow Gives More Evidence On Zakayev

Published: December 3, 2002 (Issue # 825)


MOSCOW - The Prosecutor General's Office says it has provided Denmark with new evidence of Akhmed Zakayev's involvement in war crimes, including the testimony of jailed rebel leader Salman Raduyev.

The Izvestia newspaper also has published what it said was new evidence against Zakayev, based on the accounts of several Chechens, which included allegations that he took civilians hostage and gave orders to kill Chechens loyal to federal troops.

Zakayev, the envoy to Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov, was detained Oct. 30 in Copenhagen at Russia's request after attending a congress of Chechen separatists and human-rights activists there, only days after armed Chechens seized a Moscow theater.

Russian prosecutors were given until Nov. 30, Saturday, to provide evidence documenting the charges against Zavkayev, whose term of detention ends Thursday.

Prosecutor's office spokesperson Leonid Troshin said Friday that new evidence against Zakayev has been translated and transferred to Danish justice officials. He did not disclose what Raduyev said about Zakayev.

Gunnar Homann, Zakayev's lawyer in Copenhagen, was too busy Friday to comment on the new evidence, his assistant said.

Izvestia reported Friday that, in December 1995, Zakayev and another rebel commander, Ruslan Gelayev, led a group that held some 50 people hostage in Urus-Martan and then clashed with local residents demanding the hostages' release, leaving one civilian dead.

In August 1996, when rebels launched a major assault on Grozny, Zakayev's troops raided the railway station, which was guarded by Chechen police, and at least three police officers were killed and 29 wounded, Izvestia said. Leila Taramova, at the time the head of passenger service of the North Caucasus railways' Grozny department, told Izvestia that Zakayev took part in the shooting. There was no independent confirmation of Izvestia's report.

It was not clear how the allegations against Zakayev could be reconciled with an amnesty passed by the State Duma in March 1997. The Duma pardoned combatants on both sides in the war from 1994 to 1996 for "dangerous acts in connection with the armed conflict in the Chechen republic."

Just last year, Zakayev was considered an acceptable negotiating partner for the Kremlin. He met with Viktor Kazantsev, the presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District, to discuss the situation in Chechnya.

Troshin said Friday that his office has had enough evidence against Zakayev for months, but the evidence has never been organized because Zakayev was not available for questioning. "We have enough material against him, otherwise we would not dare to go international in demanding his extradition. However, the material we have is raw; we need to question him," he said.

Troshin said the prosecutor's office would suffer a major blow if Danish justice officials decide not to extradite Zakayev and release him from jail. "We would just keep on working, we would net him some other time," he said.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



Times Talk