24 August 2015, 13:36
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of August 17-23
Continuation of the pleadings and the final speeches of the defendants in the Amirov's case; special operation, assassination of the district police inspector, and attack on OMON fighter in Dagestan; protest actions in Armenia and clashes between protesters and policemen, see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of August 17-23, 2015, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Continuation of pleadings and final speeches of defendants in Amirov's case
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Said Amirov, his nephew Yusup Djaparov, Murad Aliev, Akhmedov brothers, Magomed Kadiev, and Zubair Mutaev are charged with organizing murders, involvement in illegal armed formation (IAF), banditry, terrorism, and arms trafficking. Starting from August 10, the court held the pleadings. On August 18, advocates of the figurants involved in the Amirov's case claimed that the court abused the adversarial principle. On August 19, the court in Rostov-on-Don refused to resume the investigation into the Amirov's case. On the same day, at the court session, Akhmedov brothers pleaded not guilty, and defendant Magomed Kadiev confirmed his testimony. The figurants of the Amirov's case have called on the court to be neutral when sentencing. The judge has scheduled the pronouncement of the verdict for August 27.
Special operation, assassination of district police inspector, and attack on OMON fighter in Dagestan
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on August 23, a counterterrorist operation (CTO) regime was introduced in the Lenin District of the capital of Dagestan was in connection with the search for militants. The main part of the special operation took place in the village of Novy Khushet, where Shamil Abdurakhmanov, a 40-year-old district police inspector, was killed on August 17, and on August 21, an OMON (riot police) fighter was attacked and wounded, and two civilians were killed meanwhile. On August 24, as a result of the armed clash near the village of Novy Khushet, three militants were shot dead, and an OMON fighter was wounded.
The killed men were identified as Abdul Kurbanov, the leader of the local fighters, and his subordinates Magomed Ibragimov and Magomed Abdulkhaliev, the "LifeNews" reports with reference to a source in the law enforcement bodies.
According to the villagers, as of August 20, police men detained at least 12 persons, while their advocates are not able to visit their clients.
Protest actions in Armenia and clashes between protesters and policemen
On August 21, the movement "Arise, Armenia!" organized a rally at Republic Square. In the course of the rally, six activists were brought to the police station. The activists repeatedly tried to block Vazgen Sargsyan Street, which led to clashes with the police. Later, Akop Nazaryan, a pensioner, accused a policeman that he slapped him on the face during the rally and broke his hearing aid.
After the incident with the pensioner, a service check against Lieutenant Vardgesyan was initiated; and Valery Osipyan, Deputy Chief of Yerevan Police, apologized to the public for the actions of his subordinate. In his turn, Ashot Agaronyan, the head of the Information and PR Division of the Armenian Police, has said that Lieutenant Vardgesyan "will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." Armenian Ombudsman called on for immediate investigation into the incident.
Murder of Zamirbek Makhmutov, Deputy Imam of the village of Stavropol Territory Irgakly
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that a body of Zamirbek Makhmutov was found on August 20. Relatives of Zamirbek Makhmutov believe he was murdered because of his professional activities. However, Mukhammad Rakhimov, Mufti of the Stavropol Territory, suggested that the murder of Zamirbek Makhmutov, the Deputy Imam of the aul (village) of Irgakly of the Stepnoe District of the Stavropol Territory, is not related to his professional activities. According to the Mufti, Zamirbek Makhmutov received no threats.
The believers of the mosque in the village of Irgakly have expressed their distrust of investigation into the murder of the religious leader and their concern that the crime will not be resolved like other similar crimes committed in the region.
The murder of Zamirbek Makhmutov may lead to an aggravation of inter-confessional and inter-ethnic relations in the Stavropol Territory. This opinion was expressed by experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".
Southern Russia faces state of emergency because of heavy rains, showers of hail and strong winds
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on August 18, in the Adyge-Khabl District of Karachay-Cherkessia, strong gusts of wind partly damaged the roofs of three social objects. On August 19, it was reported that as a result of stormy wind, the electricity supply to the village of Sadovoe was cut off, and it was not restored until August 21.
Besides, on August 19, more than 18,000 residents of Kuban and Adygea were left without electricity supply after the storm.
On August 19, in the Stavropol Territory, the Kochubeevskoe, Alexandrovskoe, and Novoselitskoe Districts were affected by rain and strong wind. Electricity and gas supply to 14 dwelling settlements was partly cut off, and roofs of houses were damaged. According to the medical institutions of the Stavropol Territory, 28 persons were injured, and four persons were hospitalized.
On August 20, in the villages of Ulyanovsky, Gvardeisky, Granichny, Pridorozhny, and Dalny in the Prokhladny District of Kabardino-Balkaria, wind, rain, and shower of hail damaged roofs and power lines.
On August 20, in the regions of southern Russia, commissions were created to assess the damage caused by bad weather.
Trial in Khadija Ismayilova's case in Azerbaijan
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported on the trial in Azerbaijan in the case against Khadija Ismayilova, a reporter of the "Radio Liberty", who became well-known for her investigations of the facts of corruption among the top-ranking officials of Azerbaijan. Khadija Ismayilova is charged with economic crimes and bringing her colleague Tural Mustafaev to a suicide attempt. On August 19, the managers of the "Radio Liberty" sent an appeal to the court claiming that Khadija Ismayilova was not guilty.
On August 21, prosecutor Ramazan Khadyev asked the court to sentence Khadija Ismayilova to 9 years of imprisonment. The defence has declared the groundlessness of the prosecutor's arguments.