MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC) has charged four members of the terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra (outlawed in Russia) in absentia with the death of Russian air pilot Roman Filipov and put them on the international wanted list, IC spokeswoman, Svetlana Petrenko told the media on Wednesday.
"The main directorate for the investigation of special cases of Russia’s Investigative Committee has established the identities of four accomplices in the death of Russian fighter jet Sukhoi-25SM’s pilot Major Roman Filipov, deputy squadron commander of the Eastern Military District’s air assault regiment. They are Ibrahim Ramadan al-Ahmad, Mohammed Gazi al-Alaviyu, Abdel Sattar Abdul Gafur al-Sayyah and Abdel Basit Ibrahim al-Hamoud. All of them are members of the terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham)," Petrenko said. They were charged in absentia under Part 2 of Article 205.5 of the Criminal Code (participation in an organization recognized as terrorist in Russia), Part 3 of Article 30 and Part 2 of Article 105 of the Criminal Code (attempted murder) and Part 1 of Article 226 of the Criminal Code (theft of firearms).
"The accused have been put on the international wanted list. The investigation is going to ask court to remand them in custody in absentia," Petrenko said.
On February 3, 2018, a terrorist group attacked a Sukhkoi-25SM plane with an anti-aircraft missile system. Roman Filipov ejected and parachuted in Syria’s Idlib province. The plane fell apart in the air. After landing Major Filipov offered resistance to the terrorists, who surrounded him, and eventually blew himself up with a hand grenade. The terrorists stole his handgun, helmet and oxygen mask.
"The necessary evidence that allowed for establishing the circumstances of Major Filipov’s death and those responsible was gathered as a result of active work by investigators and forensic experts from the IC’s central office in Syria in cooperation with the Russian Defense Ministry and the Syrian authorities concerned," Petrenko said. Satellite images were examined thoroughly and the sites of Major Filipov’s death and the crash of his plane were established and searched. Investigators found the plane’s debris and questioned witnesses, including Syrian citizens.
"A number of forensic examinations are being carried out, including explosive, ballistic and identification ones. The conclusions will be important for establishing the circumstances of the crime," Petrenko said.