03 August 2015, 09:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of July 27-August 2

Detention of heads of two district of Dagestan and investigators' statement about suspicions against Sagid Murtazaliev, head of republic's branch of RPF; special operations in Ingushetia, which resulted in killing eight persons; end of judicial inquiry into Said Amirov's case, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of July 27-August 2, 2015, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Heads of two Dagestani regions detained on suspicion of various crimes

Last week, Dagestan saw the detention of the heads of the Kizlyar and Buynaksk Districts, who are relatives of major political figures of Dagestan.

At night on July 27, Andrei Vinogradov, the head of the Kizlyar District, was detained. On July 28, the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) reported that Vinogradov and his relative Sagid Murtazaliev, a Dagestani MP and the head of the Dagestani branch of the Russian Pension Fund (RPF), whose house was searched, are figurants of the case concerning several crimes, including murders, an attempted murder and financing terrorism. On July 29, the Basmanny Court of Moscow ruled to arrest Vinogradov. According to law enforcers, Murtazaliev is hiding in Dubai and will be put on the wanted list.

The arrest of Vinogradov and power agents' statements about Murtazaliev aroused great resonance in the republic. On July 29, their supporters held a sitting in the village of Averyanovka, Kizlyar District, during which they spoke in the defence of the leaders. On July 30, their supporters held a press conference in Makhachkala, during which they stated the political order of the crimes and called the upcoming elections as the cause of the criminal prosecution.

On August 2, in Dagestan, Daniyal Shikhsaidov, the head of the Buynaksk District and a son of Khizri Shikhsaidov, the Speaker of the Dagestani Parliament, was detained. A police source said that Daniyal Shikhsaidov was detained during a search in his father's house. According to a source from the republic's law enforcement bodies, the head of the Buynaksk District is suspected of a fraud during implementing the programme of resettling citizens out of dilapidated housing. Within the case, they also detained Magomed Kadiev, the head of the state institutions "Directorate of Unified Customer-Developer".

Trial of Nadezhda Savchenko launched in Rostov Region

On July 30, the Donetsk City Court of the Rostov Region began the trial of the Ukrainian servicewoman Nadezhda Savchenko, accused of involvement in the murder of two Russian journalists near Lugansk and illegal border crossing. The Consul of Ukraine had promised to support her at trial; however, he was not admitted into the courtroom, in connection with which the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) expressed a protest. Let us note here that Nadezhda Savchenko was recognized as a political prisoner by the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial". Human rights activists believe that her prosecution was carried out in violation of her right to a fair trial.

Special operation in Ingushetia resulted in eight casualties

On August 2, power agents announced the killing of eight militants in the course of a special operation conducted near the village of Dattykh of the Sunzha District of Ingushetia. The militants were killed "during armed clashes with the use of artillery." According to the Russian National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC), the casualties had been members of the terrorist organization "Islamic State" (IS). Among those killed they name Adam Tagilov, who is considered to be the organizer of the attack of Chechen militants on December 2014, in which 15 power agents and two civilians were killed, and 37 law enforcers were wounded. Also 11 attackers were killed.

Court at Amirov's trial completes judicial inquiry

On July 31, the North-Caucasian District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don completed the judicial investigation into the case, where the defendants are Said Amirov, an ex-Mayor of Makhachkala, who had been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of plotting a terror act; his nephew Yusup Djaparov, and six other residents of Dagestan. They are accused of organizing murders, participation in an illegal armed formation (IAF), banditry, terrorism and illegal arms circulation. None of the defendants has pled guilty; and they all declared that they had been tortured and pressed during the investigation. The court has adjourned the trial until August 10, when the court will start oral statements of the parties.

Election commissions in Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don start registering governor candidates

The Krasnodar Territory and Rostov Region have launched a new phase of election campaigns of their governors. The elections will be held on the united voting day – on September 13. On July 31 in Rostov-on-Don, and on July 28 – in Krasnodar the respective election commissions completed the reception of documents for registration of candidates for the positions of regional leaders.

In the Rostov Region, the candidates for the governor are Nikolai Kolomeitsev, nominated by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF); Vasily Golubev (currently, the acting head of the Region), nominated by the "Edinaya Rossiya" (United Russia) Party; Ivan Novikov, a member of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR); Ivan Kolesnikov, the nominee of the "Russian Party of Pensioners"; and Mikhail Emelyanov, the nominee of the "Spravedlivaya Rossiya" (Fair Russia) Party. In the Krasnodar Territory, it is already known that Mikhail Abramyan from the "Communists of Russia" Party was removed from the race as he failed the municipal filter. The other five candidates – Viktor Ponomaryov ("Party of Social Protection"); Andrei Rudenko ("Spravelivaya Rossiya"); Sergey Fisyuk (LDPR), Nikolai Osadchiy (CPRF) and Veniamin Kondratiev ("Edinaya Rossiya") – have already secured the support of the required number of municipal heads and local MPs.

Theologian Bagirzade, released from prison in Azerbaijan, intends to fight for liberation of other imprisoned activists

On July 31, in connection with the expiry of his term, the theologian Talekh Bagirzade went out of his prison in Azerbaijan. In November 2013, he was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of possession and sale of narcotic drugs. Since December 2014, he served his term in the Gobustan closed prison. Bagirzade is among the persons, recognized by Azerbaijani rights defenders as political prisoners. His prosecution was condemned by the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan and the human rights organization "Centre for Protection of Freedom of Conscience and Religion". After release from prison, he stated his intention to fight for liberation of Azerbaijani activists still kept in prisons.

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