A law enforcer escorts an arrested man. Nalchik, October 14, 2005. Photo: REUTERS/Viktor Korotayev

04 December 2020, 23:39

ECtHR's response encourages defence of men sentenced for attack on Nalchik

The start of the consideration by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) of complaints lodged by the men sentenced in a case on an attack on Nalchik increases their chances not only for compensation, but also for commutation of their sentences, advocates note. Rasul Kudaev, sentenced to life imprisonment, suffers from serious diseases, but does not receive sufficient medical care, his mother complains.

The convicts complain about torture, unfair trials, and violation of the right to liberty and security.

Rustam Matsev, an advocate from the NGO "Legal Initiative", notes that there were precedents in Russia for reconsideration of cases in connection with the ECtHR's decisions. The re-consideration of the case does not mean that the convicts will be acquitted, but there is a chance for commutation of their sentences, and in case of life-sentenced prisoners, the re-consideration means hope for release, the advocate explains.

The attack on Nalchik took place on October 13, 2005. As a result of the incident, 35 law enforcers, 14 civilians, and 92 attackers were killed. In 2014, the court found 56 people guilty, and five of them were sentenced to life imprisonment. Most of the convicts claim they were involved in the attack by fraud.

Advocate Batyr Akhilgov notes that Rasul Kudaev, recognized by the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" as a political prisoner, was sentenced to life imprisonment, although his criminal case contained no materials to prove his involvement in the attack on Nalchik. The advocate believes that Ruslan Kudaev was sentenced to the maximum possible punishment as a former Guantanamo prisoner.

Anzor Mashukov, another defendant, was sentenced to life imprisonment, although "he left and took others away: he dissuaded them from participating in the attack."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 4, 2020 at 01:49 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Magomed Tuayev; Source: CK correspondent

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