15 January 2010, 21:00

Figurants in the case of "Neva-Express" explosion in 2007 acquitted from charge of terrorism

Residents of Ingushetia Salambek Dzakhkiev and Maksharip Khidriev, accused of blowing up the "Neva-Express" train in 2007, have been acquitted under the article of "terrorism". The court found them guilty of illegal circulation of explosives.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on January 11 in the course of the court session the defendants declared their innocence. Earlier Khidriev admitted his guilt of preparing the terror act. Human rights defendants had emphasized that eyewitnesses evidenced Khidriev's alibi. In the opinion of the defence, his confessions were obtained through physical and moral pressure on the defendant. The defendants also complained to journalists on the pressure exerted by the investigation.

The ITAR-TASS reports that today the court, consisting of three professional judges, announced the verdict and sentenced Salambek Dzakhkiev to 10 years of imprisonment, and Maksharip Khidriev - to 4 years.

There were about 30 persons in the courtroom, including many media people and defendants' relatives. When the verdict was read out, Salambek Dzakhkiev started swearing obscenely, interrupting the reading. He tried to call his relatives, but court marshals did not allow them to come up.

The "Interfax" reports that the defendants' advocates were dissatisfied with the verdict and would lodge cassation in the near future. "We'll be happy only with a complete acquittal. Cassation will be submitted in the near future," Murat Yunusov, Maksharip Khidriev's advocate, told journalists at the Novgorod Regional Court.

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