Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev at the protest action in the village of Gymry, Untsukul District, Dagestan, 2012. Photo by Gamzat Izudinov.

29 September 2014, 18:53

Dagestan: decision to suspend inquiry into Akhmednabiyev's murder cancelled

The decision to suspend the investigation into the murder of the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev was cancelled by the Kirov District Prosecutor's Office of Makhachkala. As suggested by the lawyer Abdurashid Sheikhov, the cancellation was made retroactively.

Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev was killed on July 9, 2013, in the outskirt of Makhachkala. He worked as a ‘Causasian Knot’ correspondent more than seven years, covering hottest topics. In 2012 only, the news tape of the "Caucasian Knot" published 228 Akhmednabiev's materials; and since the start of 2013 – 92 materials. The "Caucasian Knot" is ready to pay 200,000 roubles reward for information on murder of Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in early September, the lawyer Sheikhov, the advocate for the suffered party, said that the Investigating Division for the Kirov District of Makhachkala of the Investigating Department (ID) for the Republic of Dagestan (RD) of the Investigating Committee of the Russian federation (ICRF) had suspended the investigation into the murder of Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev. The decision was made on July 30; however, Sheikhov received a printed and certified copy thereof only on September 1.

The decision was overturned on September 16 by the above Kirov District Prosecutor's Office after a respective Abdurashid Sheikhov's petition, says the letter from the above ID for the RD of the ICRF that the lawyer received on September 29.

"Be hereby informed that on September 16, 2014, the Kirov District Prosecutor's Office of Makhachkala cancelled the decision of July 30, 2014, to suspend the investigation. We also explain that currently there are no grounds for withdrawal of Criminal Case No. 358449 from the Kirov Division of Makhachkala and passing it for further investigation by the ID," says the letter, a copy of which is at the disposal of the "Caucasian Knot".

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Abdurashid Sheikhov sought to withdraw the criminal case from the Kirov Division of Makhachkala and transfer it for further investigation to the above ID.

On September 18, they allegedly sent a letter to me. However, the envelope has a postal stamp of September 26.

"The investigation of the case was suspended back on July 30. I filed a complaint in this regard to the ID. Today I received a letter from them that the suspension was cancelled," the lawyer Sheikhov told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

He added that on September 23 he communicated with investigators. "I spoke about the decision with the investigator; he told me that nothing had changed; and all was at the same stage," said the lawyer.

According to the lawyer, it gives grounds to assume that the document to quash the suspension was made retroactively.

Abdurashid Sheikhov suggests that it could be done because of the speech at the 27th UN Session of the human rights organization "Article 19", which emphasized that the Russian Federation had failed to improperly investigate journalists' murders.

"By the law, they were to immediately notify about the cancelation of the inquiry suspension. The letter says that the decision to cancel the suspension was allegedly made on September 16; and on September 18, they allegedly sent a letter to me. However, the envelope has a postal stamp of September 26. Therefore, they just faked it and actually sent it on September 26," said the lawyer.

In May 2012, Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev said that he received threats. On January 11, unidentified attackers fired four shots at him, but the bullets missed, and the journalist was not injured. The incident entailed a criminal case opened under Part 1, Article 167, of "deliberate destruction or damage to property", and Part 1, Article 222, of "illegal purchase, transfer, sale, storage, transportation or carrying of firearms", of the Russian Criminal Code. In the opinion of Sheikhov, the investigation was to be conducted under other articles.

"When they considered my complaint against the application of Article 167 of the Criminal Code, since there was an attempt on Akhmednabiyev's life, the prosecutor proved that there were no attempt elements; and everything was done legally. We sat at the procedure up to half past six in the evening; however, we needed more time and the session was postponed for the following day. And on the following day, when Akhmednabi was killed, they brought a statement that the prosecutor's office had allegedly quashed the initiation of the case under Article 167 of destruction of property. That is, there was a precedent; therefore, I have now reasons to believe that this time they did the same," said the lawyer.

So far, the "Caucasian Knot" has no comments of investigators and prosecutors in connection with the lawyer's statements.

Let us note here that from the very beginning investigators associated Akhmednabiyev's murder with his professional activities. Earlier, he received threats and had suffered an attempt; his name was on the "execution list" disseminated as leaflets in September 2009 in Makhachkala, where anonymous authors promised to avenge the perished policemen and civilians.

Source: CK correspondent

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