25 April 2016, 09:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of April 18-24

Publication of the interim report on the results of investigation into the "FlyDubai" aircraft crash in Rostov-on-Don; conviction of Dagestani Vice-Premier Magomedgusen Nasrutdinov; undermining of house of alleged attackers on Dagestani village of Djuli, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of April 18-24, 2016, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

IAC finds pilots' actions as reason for aircraft crash in Rostov-on-Don

On April 19, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) published an interim report on the outcomes of the inquiry into the crash of the aircraft of the "FlyDubai" Airline in Rostov-on-Don at night on March 19 this year, which killed 62 people. The report states that the crash was caused by pilots' actions. IAC also noted that the Inquiry Commission plans to study the psycho-emotional and physiological status of the crew, given the data on their labour and rest regime. The "FlyDubai" Airline also promised to continue supporting the inquiry and rendering help to casualties' relatives.

Dagestan: conviction to Vice-Premier Magomedgusen Nasrutdinov blowing up the house of alleged organizer of attack on Djuli

On April 22, the Supreme Court (SC) of Dagestan convicted the former Vice-Premier of Dagestan Magomedgusen Nasrutdinov, who was accused of organizing in 2002 a fraudulent transaction of the Limited Liability Company (LLC) "Dagestanregiongaz" with the Open Joint-Stock Company (OJSC) "Daggaz", as a result of which the gas networks of nine municipalities of the republic, worth 200 million Russian roubles, were sold for 58 million roubles. Nasrutdinov was sentenced to 5 years in prison and a fine of 1 million roubles.

April 20, in the village of Djuli, Tabasaran District of Dagestan, the local school was set on fire, and some shops were robbed. Power agents blamed for the attacks Rasmin Magomedov, a local resident, treating him as a militant from the "Youzhnaya" (Southern) grouping. On April 21, Magomedov's house was blown up under the pretext of detection of an explosive device in it. People, who lived in the house, were forced to move to their relatives. Power bodies in Dagestan openly resort to blowing up house of relatives of suspected militants as a form of revenge; however, these actions only exacerbate the conflict, said the experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".

Armenia: dismissal of top official after offshore scandal and actions in support of businessman Levon Airapetyan convicted in Russia

On April 18, Migran Pogosyan, the Head of the Service of Enforcing Judicial Acts of the Ministry of Justice of Armenia, submitted his resignation petition after his name was mentioned in the "Panama dossier" about offshore companies. According to these documents, Pogosyan is a shareholder of three companies registered in Panama. On April 20, the Police of Armenia announced a start of a check in connection with Pogosyan's mentioning in the "Panama dossier". Experts said that Armenian laws do not prohibit officials or MPs to possess shares of commercial companies; and the Pogosyan's resignation has to do with the authorities' unwillingness to spoil relations with the Western countries, which provided financial assistance to the country in fighting corruption.

On April 19, in Yerevan, about 100 people held an action in support of the businessman Levon Airapetyan, who on April 14, was sentenced by a court in Moscow on charges of a fraud to four years in prison. Activists said that the businessman is paying the price for his charity, in particular, in Nagorno-Karabakh. On April 20, the Armenian Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan appealed to his Russian counterpart with a request to pay attention to Airapetyan's custody conditions, which adversely affect his health.

Rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband left Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani authorities have let Leyla Yunus, the Director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD), and her husband Arif Yunus, who were serving their conditional terms, out of the country. On April 19, they arrived in the Netherlands, accompanied by Professor Christian Witt, a Division Head of the Charite Hospital, who had found that the rights defender and her husband are in urgent need of medical care. On April 18, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan upheld the spouses' appeal against the ban on their leaving the country.

Court stops criminal case of Alexander Ivanov, Vice-Governor of the Krasnodar Territory

On April 18, the Leninsky District Court of Krasnodar granted the motion on termination of the criminal case against Alexander Ivanov, who was accused of abuse of office as Vice-Governor of the Krasnodar Territory. On April 19, Vadim Bugaenko, the head of the Regional Investigating Department of the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF), said that the damage caused by Ivanov had been refunded. According to his story, Ivanov's property was arrested worth 1 billion roubles; the emphasis was made on the land plots, which the official tried to obtain through the use of his official position.

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