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Russian court charges four men with act of terrorism for Moscow attack

Published : Monday, 25 March, 2024 at 7:52 PM  Count : 510

The men identified as Shamsidin Fariduni (left) and Muhammadsobir Fayzov

The men identified as Shamsidin Fariduni (left) and Muhammadsobir Fayzov

Russia has charged four men it says attacked a Moscow concert hall and killed at least 137 people, reports BBC.

All four appeared to have been beaten and one was brought to court in a wheelchair. They were charged with committing an act of terrorism.

The Islamic State group, or IS, said it carried out Friday's outrage at Crocus City Hall and posted video evidence.

Russian officials have claimed, without evidence, Ukrainian involvement. Kyiv says the claim is "absurd".

The graphic video released by IS, showing attackers firing on the crowd inside the concert hall, has been verified as genuine by the BBC.
However, no Russian official has acknowledged the claim, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a news conference on Monday that it was inappropriate to comment on it until the investigation had been completed.

He also said that because of the tense international situation there was little collaboration between countries on fighting terrorism.

The men identified as Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev (left) and Saidakrami Murodali Rachabalizoda

The men identified as Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev (left) and Saidakrami Murodali Rachabalizoda

Rescuers are continuing to search the rubble of the concert hall for victims, and regional officials said the operation would carry on through Tuesday afternoon.

The four suspects were named by Russian authorities as Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, Saidakrami Murodali Rachabalizoda, Shamsidin Fariduni and Muhammadsobir Fayzov.

Video showed three of them being marched bent double by masked police into Basmanny district court in the Russian capital.

All appeared to have been beaten - videos of brutal interrogation sessions were apparently leaked by Russian security forces, and reports suggest at least one had suffered electric shocks.

Asked about the alleged torture, Mr Peskov refused to comment.

The men the court identified as Mirzoyev and Rachabalizoda had black eyes and the latter's ear was heavily bandaged - reportedly from it being partially severed during his arrest.

Mirzoyev also appeared to have a torn plastic bag wrapped around his neck.

The face of the man identified as Fariduni was badly swollen, while the man named as Fayzov appeared to lose consciousness as he was brought into court in a wheelchair wearing a thin hospital gown.

He appeared to have an eye missing, according to the Reuters news agency.

All were held in a glass-panelled booth and guarded by masked police during their time in court.

A court statement on the Telegram messaging service said Mirzoyev had "admitted his guilt in full", while Rachabalizoda also "admitted guilt".

The men were identified as citizens of Tajikistan, Russia's state news agency Tass said.

All four are to be held in pre-trial detention until at least 22 May, the court added.

The attack has raised questions about Russia's moratorium on the death penalty, with several senior officials calling for it to be lifted.

However, Mr Peskov said the Russian authorities "are not taking part in this discussion".

Four gunmen on Friday night stormed the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, a northern Moscow suburb, and began firing on some of the estimated 6,000 people who were attending a rock concert. The attackers also set fires which engulfed the venue and caused the roof to collapse.

Russian authorities said 137 people were killed and more than 100 injured.

The men who appeared in court on Sunday were arrested in the Bryansk region around 14 hours after the attack, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said. Bryansk is around 400km (250 miles) south-west of Moscow.

Officials have suggested - without evidence - that the attackers were being helped by Ukraine and Kyiv had "prepared a window" to allow them to cross the border and escape into its territory.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday rejected the claims, and his military intelligence directorate said it was "absurd" to suggest the men were trying to cross a heavily mined border, teeming with hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers, to reach safety.

Adrienne Watson, the US national security council spokeswoman, said that IS bore "sole responsibility for this attack. There was no Ukrainian involvement whatsoever".

Seven other people have been arrested in Russia suspected of aiding the attack.

The US and other Western intelligence agencies have said the attack was probably carried out by the Khorasan branch of IS, known as Isis-K, which chiefly operates in Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia.

It is among the most able and active of the IS offshoots, and was responsible for deadly suicide attacks at Kabul airport during the chaotic American withdrawal of August and September 2021.

Isis-K frequently criticises President Vladimir Putin in its propaganda.

END/SZA

Four men, all visibly injured, charged in deadly Moscow concert hall attack

Related Topics

Russian court   charges four men   terrorism   Moscow attack  








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