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Vienna Judge Wants to Hear Kadyrov

Published: November 23, 2010 (Issue # 1628)



  • From left, suspects Turpal-Ali Yeshukayev, Suleiman Dadayev and Otto Kaltenbrunner in a Vienna court last week.
    Photo: Ronald Zak / The Associated Press

MOSCOW — Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov should be called as a witness in the trial against three men accused of killing Chechen refugee Umar Israilov, a court in Vienna said Friday.

Kadyrov should be heard via a video link, Judge Friedrich Forsthuber said, the national Austria Press Agency reported.

The judge responded to a request from Rudolf Mayer, the lawyer of Otto Kaltenbrunner, who is accused of organizing the brazen shooting of Israilov, 27, on a busy Vienna street on Jan. 19, 2009.

Mayer told the judge that his client would ask his sister to pass the request to Kadyrov and notify the court Monday.

At the opening of the trial Tuesday, prosecutors showed a photo of Kaltenbrunner embracing Kadyrov that was found on Kaltenbrunner’s cell phone.

Mayer has also said he would like to see Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called as a witness.

Putin, who appointed Kadyrov in 2007 as Chechen president, is widely thought to be Kadyrov’s mentor.

Israilov’s lawyer and human rights activists have accused Kadyrov of ordering the killing to silence a vocal critic of the Chechen leadership. Prosecutors say they suspect Kadyrov but do not have enough evidence to implicate him.

Kadyrov himself has vehemently denied any involvement and denounced the allegations as part of a campaign to discredit him.

His spokesman Alvi Karimov said Friday that he could not comment on the trial because he had not followed it.

Kaltenbrunner, a Chechen native who changed his name after arriving in Austria in 2007, told the court earlier in the week that he was a close friend of Kadyrov and had known him since 1998. He denied having anything to do with the murder.

He told the court Wednesday that on the day of the killing Lecha Bogatyryov and Suleiman Dadayev had taken his car to the crime scene while he had been lying drunk in bed.

Bogatyryov, who is believed to be living in Chechnya, is accused of firing the deadly shots at Israilov together with another Chechen, Turpal-Ali Yershukayev.

Dadayev is accused of driving the getaway car, a Volvo registered under Kaltenbrunner’s name, according to the indictment, a copy of which was obtained by The Moscow Times.

Yershukayev told the court that his countrymen betrayed him by asking him to drive to the crime scene that day.

He said Dadayev had asked him to go there, merely saying “a man would come.” After a long wait in his Opel car, he decided to take a short walk when he suddenly heard shots and saw Bogatyryov running past.

Despite his fear, he decided to run after Bogatyryov, whom he claimed to have never met before in his life.

When the gunman suddenly threw his weapon over to him, he tossed it into a garbage can, Yeshurkayev told the jury, Vienna’s Die Presse reported.

Dadayev is expected to be heard Monday, but his lawyer Lennart Binder said last week that he was “a pawn in the murder plans of Putin and his henchman Kadyrov,” Die Presse reported.

All three defendants have pleaded not guilty.

The trial is expected to last until late January.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of today’s seminar is “Grammar Practice.”


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at “Professional Growth,” a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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