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Court to review sentence legality in Nevsky Express blast case

September 24, 2012, 10:37 UTC+3

Earlier, the Tver Regional Court sentenced the defendants in the case from seven years’ imprisonment to life in prison

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MOSCOW, September 24 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Supreme Court on Monday will consider cassation appeals of the defendants against the sentence handed down on them within the criminal case of the Nevsky Express train bombing in 2009, the court’s press service told Itar-Tass.

Earlier, the Tver Regional Court sentenced the defendants in the case from seven years’ imprisonment to life in prison.

All the 10 defendants - residents of Ingushetia, nine members of one family – the Kartoyevs, and Zelimkhan Aushev - were found guilty. Four of them were charged with, in particular, an act of terrorism, murder, attempted murder, and the rest – with the organisation of an illegal armed group and membership in it, banditry, illegal manufacture of weapons.

Zelimkhan Aushev, as well as Bislan, Murad and Tatarkhan Kartoyev, were sentenced to life in prison. The other six defendants were sentenced to 7 and 8 years’ imprisonment.

In addition, the court granted the civil suit for the compensation for moral and material damage filed by the people affected by the terror act and Russian Railways Company (RZD). The convicts must pay a total of more than 150 million roubles, of which 133 million roubles – to Russian Railways.

After the verdict announcement the defence lawyers said that they consider the court’s decision illegal and the guilt of their clients unproven. They appealed the sentence.

According to the prosecution, the defendants entered a bandit group that is part of the terrorist organisation Muslim Brothers, and participated in the activities of the group of Alexander Tikhomirov (Said Buryatsky). They illegally stored firearms and ammunition and explosives. It is Tikhomirov who, according to the investigation, masterminded the Nevsky Express bombing. On November 22, 2009, the gang members arrived in the area of ··the Lykoshino village in the Tver Region and planted on the 284 kilometres of the Oktyabrskaya Railway two improvised explosive devices that went off during the passage of the Nevsky Express train.

The terrorist attack claimed the lives of 27 people, more than 150 passengers were injured. RZD suffered material damage amounting to more than 133 million roubles.

The 2009 Nevsky Express bombing occurred on 27 November 2009 when a bomb exploded under a high speed train travelling between the Russian cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg causing derailment near the town of Bologoye, Tver Region (approximately 200 miles or 320 kilometres from Moscow), on the Moscow–St. Petersburg Railway. The derailment occurred at 21:34 local time (18:34 UTC). Russian officials had stated that 39 people were killed and 95 injured but later retracted the death toll, with 27 deaths reported as of December 2. A second bomb exploded at the scene of the investigation the following day, injuring one. It was reported to have been triggered by a remote mobile phone.

Meanwhile, this passenger train came under terrorist attacks twice. On August 13, 2007, 60 people were injured as an explosive device went off under the train. In the first bombing case two residents of Ingushetia - Salambek Dzakhkiyev and Maksharip Khidriyev were convicted. However, the court acquitted them on the main count – perpetration of the express train bombing, they were sentenced to 10 and 4 years in prison, respectively for illegal possession of explosives. Dzakhiyev got a cumulative sentence, as the court also found him guilty of brigandage.

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