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MOSCOW, September 11 (Itar-Tass) — The Moscow regional court which is reviewing the Domodedovo airport bombing case, has turned down the petition for open trial. The case is heard behind closed doors as it contains materials marked "confidential."
The defendants are brothers Islam and Ilez Yandiyev, Akmed Yevloyev and Bashir Khamkhoyev. They are accused of the commission of an act of terror by a permanent armed group, murder and attempted murder, illegal acquisition, handover, keeping, transportation and carrying of firearms, ammunition and explosives and illegal making of explosive devices.
Earlier, defendant Ilez Yandiyev lodged a petition for open trial. "I'm innocent; I have nothing to hide, so let the public be present at the trial," his lawyer Vladimir Kocharyan quoted Yandiyev as saying.
The petition was supported by other defendants and their lawyers.
But prosecutors disagreed saying they believed "two volumes of the case with sensitive information are have crucial importance," which makes it impossible to hold open hearings.
The lawyer also said Ilez Yandiyev had asked for jury trial. "I understand that a jury cannot handle cases under the article on terrorism; so his petition will be turned down, but my client is not a lawyer and it is his right to lodge petitions," Kocharyan said.
The investigators said Magomed Yevloyev had set off a bomb fastened to his belt at Domodedovo airport at around 16:30, Moscow time on January 24, 2011. Its yield was two to three kilograms of TNT. The bomb was filled with destructive agents such as metal fragments and bearing balls.
Thirty-seven people died and another 173 were injured in the blast staged at the airport's arrivals hall.
The act of terror was masterminded by Imarat Kavkaz leader Doku Umarov; the gang led by Aslan Byutukayev and Supyan Abdullayev was subordinate to him. They chose Magomed Yevloyev as the suicide bomber.
The four accused helped Magomed Yevloyev to travel from Ingushetia to Moscow, where they rented an apartment for him. They passed to him a belt with explosives, selected the place of the terrorist attack and sent him to the airport to carry out a suicide bomber's attack at the airport's arrivals hall.
In February, 2012, Bashir Kahmkhoyev was sentenced by Ingushetia's Supreme Court to nine years for setting up an illegal paramilitary formation. The investigators said he had joined a group of gunmen in 2009. According to the case materials, Khamkhoyev recruited other person to illegal military formations, tried to assassinate police officer Salman Torshkhoyev by planting a bomb under his car, and called for war from the Khunafa website controlled by the militants.
The Domodedovo bombing case comprises 117 volumes. The investigators have carried out a total of 600 expert examinations. In all, there are 55 witnesses in the case.