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Supreme Court upholds sentence for militant who prepared terroract

November 08, 2011, 16:01 UTC+3

The Russian Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed that the sentence for Ruslan Ozniyev was lawful

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MOSCOW, November 8 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed that the sentence for Ruslan Ozniyev was lawful. He is sentenced to 17-year imprisonment for preparation of a terrorist attack in Moscow.

Thus, the sentence is upheld, and the appeal of his attorneys is rejected.

The court met behind closed doors, as some of the materials are secret.

The Moscow city court found Ozniyev guilty on charges of participation in activities of an illegal armed group, illegal possession of arms, ammunition and explosives in an organized group, preparation of a terrorist attack and use of forged documents.

The court established that Ozniyev was an active member of an illegal armed group and following their leader Doku Umarov's directions, prepared to commit a terrorist attack in Moscow.

As a Federal Security Service source said earlier, Ozniyev, as a person close to the gunmen's leader Doku Umarov, in November 2009 arrived in Moscow, where he intended to assemble several homemade explosive devices. He confessed to the investigators that he was to assemble explosive devices and set up a hideout in a park in Moscow. He was to hand over a map of the hideout location to the crime organizers.

However, in the court, he changed his testimony and pleaded not guilty. When the sentence was proclaimed at the court meeting, where reporters were allowed in, Ozniyev stated he was not a terrorist.

According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), it was Ozniyev who said to the investigators that he had accomplices in France. Some of them were detained, and in accordance with the French legislation, charges are brought against them.

The court has established that Ozniyev, as an active member of illegal armed groups, together with one of leaders of gunmen of the so-called Imarate of the Caucasus, Khusein Khatsiyev, following Umarov's directions, prepared to commit a grave act of terror in Moscow.

When residing in Le Mans in France, through the Internet he chose objects for blasts – residential buildings, military commissariats and police offices in Moscow.

According to the FSB information, in 1998, a Sharia law court sentenced Ozniyev’s mother to 80-stroke stick beating for vodka sale at a market. After the punishment, the woman suffered kidney failure and died. Shortly after that, Ruslan himself joined illegal armed groups and searched for Sharia law offenders. Later, Ozniyev joined a group of gunmen headed by Arbi Barayev. In the group, he participated in the attack against Dagestan in the autumn of 1999 and also in the fighting against a Pskov airborne unit and a Perm OMON special-purpose police unit.

In 2001, Ozniyev was detained by law enforcement services, but attacking the guards, he managed to escape. Later, in 2003, he was detained again and sentenced to less than three years in prison for a crime of a terrorist character.

As being close to Doku Umarov, Ozniyev underwent special training and then was sent as an emissary to Europe. He received the refugee status in Poland in 2005, a law-enforcement source told Itar-Tass.

Then, Ozniyev moved to France, where he also received the political refugee status. On Umarov's assignment, he collected money there for armed groups. In the summer of 2008, he arrived in the North Caucasus and joined the so-called Sunzha Jamaat.

On October 19, 2009, Ozniyev with forged documents for an Ukrainian citizen arrived in Moscow, where a messenger handed over to him a Makarov pistol, explosives (plastic and trinitrotoluene) weighing a total of more than 15 kilogrammes, 20 electric detonators and a remote-control device, which were given to him, following Khatsiyev's directions. Then, at a Moscow market, he bought other things to make explosive devices.

The same day, he was detained by the FSB.

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