19 December 2016, 19:10

Kushtov's relatives state his innocence in abduction of Israeli woman

Magomet Kushtov, a native of Ingushetia, had been accused of kidnapping in 1999 of Laura Lichtman, an Israeli citizen, because of investigators' error, his relatives told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on November 16, in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR), the case against Magomet Kushtov, detained in March on suspicion of abducting Laura Lichtman, was sent to the court.

According to investigators, Laura Lichtman, a 22-year-old citizen of Israel, was kidnapped in Nalchik in July 1999. The young woman was kept for six months in Chechnya, and criminals demanded one million US dollars for her release. In December 1999, Laura Lichtman was released by law enforcers. In 2003, the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria found Musa Aushev, a native of the Ingush village of Surkhakhi, guilty of kidnapping Laura Lichtman and sentenced him to 13 years of imprisonment. In August 2001, Bulat Umalatov, a resident of the Chechen town of Urus-Martan, who was also involved in the kidnapping, was sentenced to 7.5 years of imprisonment.

Today, the Supreme Court (SC) of the KBR has continued hearing the case of Magomet Kushtov.

After the session, his relatives told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that "Magomet Kushtov was wrongly accused of abducting Laura Lichtman."

According to their version, "the reason to accuse Magomet Kushtov was the fact that his last name and initials – M. M. Kushtov – had coincided with those of the real abductor."

"If Kushtov were involved in what he is accused of, he would have been tried much earlier. He didn't try to hide and lived at home," one of the relatives told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The case has no proofs of Kushtov's guilt, except of the protocol of his identification by the victim on the photograph, said the advocate Magomed-Geri Nalgiev. "But the victim could be mistaken, because 17 years have passed from the crime," the advocate told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Lyudmila Maratova; Source: CK correspondent

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