People at the Shali City Court in Chechnya. Photo is provided by the press service of HRC 'Memorial'

15 September 2018, 10:11

Judge presents details of verdict to 14 residents of Chechnya

The 14 residents of the Chechen Kurchaloi District, convicted within the resonant case, received long prison terms for participating in the armed underground, Judge Taus Getaev has stated.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on September 12, residents of Chechnya reported severe sentences awarded to 14 young people convicted for terrorism. In the video posted on the WhatsApp and made near the courthouse, convicts' relatives and friends express their indignation at the verdicts: women are weeping, and men run after the paddy wagon driving out the yard of the courthouse, knocking on the body thereof. The convicts' family members had believed the promises of law enforcers and refrained from making the case public in hope for lenient sentences, convicts' relatives told the "Caucasian Knot".

"On September 11, a verdict was handed down for participation in the illegal armed formation (IAF) and illegal circulation of firearms, ammunition and explosives. The [14 defendants] were sentenced to 9.5-10.5 years in prison; at the moment of sentencing, their age was from 20 to 40 years," Taus Getaev, the Chairman of the Shali City Court, said on September 13 on air of the "Grozny" State TV and Radio Company (known as ChGTRK).

On September 11, Taus Getaev personally considered Criminal Case No. 1-207/2018, says the message posted on the website of the Shali City Court.

According to the "Kavkaz.Realii", Case No. 1-207/2018 is the case of 14 residents of the Kurchaloi District. "The speed with which Getaev worked causes questions. According to official information, he managed to sort out 14 defendants in just a half-day," the "Kavkaz.Realii" states on September 14.

Relatives of the convicted young people publicly acknowledged their guilt in a ChGTRK's programme, claiming their non-involvement in the distribution of the video clips recorded at the courthouse after sentencing. These statements may indicate the pressure exerted on them by authorities and law enforcers, local observers have noted.

Islam, a resident of Chechnya, has recalled that similar statements had been made by relatives of the people declared to be militants quite repeatedly. "The fact that their brothers were forced to publicly announce the guilt of their relatives is a long mastered scheme," he told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 15, 2018 at 01:53 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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