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Supreme Court reduces punishment for Moscow theater attack accomplice

August 29, 2017, 16:20 UTC+3

Khasan Zakayev's sentence has been reduced by three months

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Khasan Zakayev

Khasan Zakayev

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, August 29. /TASS/. Russia’s Supreme Court has reduced by three months to 18 years and 9 months the prison term for Khasan Zakayev, originally sentenced to 19 years for complicity in the 2002 Moscow theater attack in Dubrovka street.

"The sentence of the Moscow District Military Court shall be amended in that concerns punishment," the Supreme Court ruled in response to petitions by the convict and plaintiffs.

On March 21, 2017 the Moscow District Military Court sentenced Zakayev to 19 years in a penitentiary after finding him guilty of involvement in a criminal group, preparations for a terrorist attack, complicity in hostage-taking, attempt on the life of two or more persons, illegal keeping of weapons and deliberate destruction of property.

Both the convict and the plaintiffs remained dissatisfied with that decision and filed appeals at the Supreme Court.

Zakayev asked for overturning the sentence and acquitting him of the charges of which he pled not guilty. The plaintiffs protested the court’s ruling regarding the compensation they had been awarded and demanded bringing to justice all persons whom they held responsible for the hostages’ death.

In the evening of October 23, 2002 a group of 40 terrorists burst into a theater in Moscow while a musical stage production was in progress to take 914 hostages, both actors and spectators. Early in the morning on October 26 most hostages were freed in a special operation. A total of 130 people, including ten minors, died in the hostage crisis.

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