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Suspected Red Square bombing plot mastermind sentenced to 15 years

November 28, 2012, 13:27 UTC+3

He will serve the sentence in a maximum security penitentiary

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MOSCOW, November 28 (Itar-Tass) — The Moscow City Court on Wednesday sentenced Ilyas Saidov to 15 years in prison for plotting an act of terror in Red Square on December 31, 2010. He will serve the sentence in a maximum security penitentiary.

Saidov had been charged with 18 counts of crime under six articles of the penal code. The prosecutor had demanded that Saidov be sentenced to 15 years.

The court also ruled on two-year restriction of freedom for Saidov after serving the sentence. No fines were imposed on him.

When passing the ruling, the court took into account the mitigating circumstances, including Saidov's pleading guilty and his cooperation with the investigators. At the same time, it stated that his correction was only possible in the conditions of isolation from the society.

The court did not review Russian Railways' action against Saidov. The injured party may demand the compensation of damages in a civil suit, the court said.

The prosecutor said she was satisfied with the verdict as the court had met her demand. For his part, Saidov's lawyer Murat Aliyev said he would not appeal the verdict. "My client stated at the beginning that he would not appeal; even in his final statement he asked to leave it to the court to decide on the jail term," the lawyer said.

Aliyev reiterated that his client had repented and realized that he "embarked upon the wrong path." If Saidov had not agreed to plea bargain, he would have faced up to 25 years in prison, as he was abettor in all the episodes /of crime/.

The trial was held under special procedure, i.e. without the inquest, as the defendant had signed a plea bargain agreement. The punishment cannot exceed two-third of the maximum prison term.

Saidov was accused on 18 counts of banditry, acts of terror, attempted murders of law-enforcement official, murders and illegal turnover of weapons. Three articles of the penal code under which he is accused envision life imprisonment.

Prosecutor Natalia Troshkina said he had fully met the terms of the plea bargain deal. "He described the composition of the gang in detail and its leaders, including an Emir Daudov who was later destroyed."

Also, Saidov testified about a number of terrorist attacks about which the investigation had had no information before. He disclosed the locations of weapons caches and testified about the murder of high-placed Dagestan police official Ramazan Radzhabov and his deputy.

At one of the hearings, Saidov said he was worried about the safety of his relatives. "I confessed to the crime, identified all the gang members in the photos; some of them are still at large; so I have sufficient reasons to believe that they will threaten my relatives and may go as far as kill them," he said.

The investigator said Saidov had voluntarily joined the gang led by Ibragimkhalil Daudov in Dagestan in 2010. The purpose of the gang's criminal activity was to ensure separation of the North Caucasus from Russia, unsettle the socio-political situation in the region and assassinate officials and law-enforcement personnel, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Tass.

In 2010, Saidov, together with his accomplices, was involved in the attempted murder of police and servicemen, murders of civilians, three acts of terror and three attempted terrorist attacks. He illegally stored, transported and carried firearms, ammunition and explosive devices.

During the preparations to stage an act of terror in Red Square in Moscow, Saidov brought two bombs on a bus from Makhachkala to Moscow. The bombs were intended for suicide bombers, Zeinap Suyunova and Zavzhat Daudova. The crime was not carried through as one of the bomb self-detonated, killing Daudova, while Suyunova was unable to come to the venue of the terrorist attack.

He committed other acts of terror on Dagestan railways, causing an estimated damage of 30 million rubles. Together with his accomplices, he killed two law-enforcers /the head of the local department for combating extremism and his deputy/ and three civilians in Izberbash, firing a total of 79 shots at them. They had been watching Radzhabov and his deputy for a long time. They used a code phrase "you need to get a driving license quickly" to inform each other that surveillance was running smoothly.

A number of Saidov's accomplices were destroyed in special anti-terrorist operations in Dagestan and Stavropol Territory. Four gang members, including Zeinap Suyunova and Timur Akubekov, were convicted by the Moscow City Court. The other six are under investigation.

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