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28 Apr, 2009 09:34

Interpol broadens wanted list for Chechen commander’s murder

Seven Russian citizens, including a parliament deputy, have been placed on Interpol’s wanted list on request of the United Arab Emirates in relation to the murder of a former Chechen military commander.

The seven Russian citizens on Interpol wanted list, primarily of Chechen nationality, are: Adam Delimkhanov (b. 1969), Zelimkhan Mazaev, (b.1981), Elimpasha Khatsuev (b. 1970), Salman Kimayev (b.1964), Marvan Kimaev (b.1968), Tirpal Kimaev (b.1971), Ramazan Musiev (b. 1968).

Dubai police have accused State Duma Deputy Adam Delimkhanov of being behind the killing of Sulim Yamadaev, former commander of the elite “Vostok” Unit, who was shot dead in the city on March 28. Dubai officials have since issued an arrest warrant for Delimkhanov.

Delimkhanov, an ally of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, denies all accusations against him.

The deputy’s photo has been placed on Interpol’s official website as a person wanted for crimes against life and health.

The National Central Bureau of Interpol at the Russian Interior Ministry has confirmed to Itar-Tass that “international 'red corner' notices (requiring a search for the purpose of arrest) have been issued against two Russian citizens."

The bureau’s official representative refrained from further comments, saying all other issues concerned international police cooperation and were not available for publication.

Delimkhanov ‘cannot be extradited’

Police in Dubai are considering requesting the 39-year-old be extradited for trial. However, according to Russian law, he cannot be arrested on Russian territory.

Pavel Krasheninnikov, the chairman of the State Duma's legislation committee, said on Monday:

"Under the Russian Constitution, no Russian citizen can be extradited to another country for trial, and it does not matter whether the citizen in question is a legislator or a jobless person".

Russia also says it doesn't have any proof of any wrongdoing by the politician.

Krasheninnikov noted that if Russian law enforcers are given such proof, “it can serve only as a reason for investigation and trial inside the country".

Delimkhanov, an ethnic Chechen and former deputy Prime Minister in the Chechen government, was elected to the State Duma in December 2007.

Suspects in the tangled case

Currently, two men remain in custody in Dubai as the main suspects in the case: Makhdi Larnia (Lornia), of Iranian origins and Makhsud Dzhan from Tajikistan.

Dubai : Emirati police display the portraits of (from top) Chechen Vice Prime Minister Adam Delimkhanov, Tajik national Makhsud Jan and Iranian citizen Mahdi Lournia (AFP Photo / Karim Sahib)

Three other suspects, including two Russian citizens – Zalimkhan Mazayev and Turbal Kimayev – and Kazakh citizen Suleiman Kimayev, are also on the wanted list.

The Dubai police believe Sulim Yamadayev was gunned down with a gold plated Russian-made Makarov pistol. The chief of Dubai police, Dahi Khalfan Tamim, earlier said one of the suspects in custody identified one of Delimkhanov's guards as providing the gun for the killing.

Initial reports of Sulim Yamadayev’s death were contradictory, with relatives saying he had survived the assassination attempt.

Hero or criminal?

Sulim Yamadayev, former commander of the Vostok battalion in Chechnya, who was awarded the “Hero of Russia” designation, fled Chechnya after a conflict with President Kadyrov. In spring 2008, the Chechen leader accused the commanders of the “Vostok” unit, including Yamadayev, of being involved in killings and abductions within the republic.

In May 2008, Yamadayev was removed from his duties. In summer 2008 he was placed on a wanted list by Chechen prosecutors. Three criminal cases were launched against him for murder and kidnapping.

Ramzan Kadyrov later said he had “70% proof” that Yamadayev was involved in the assassination of his father, Akhmad Kadyrov, the first president elected in Chechnya following the second military campaign. He was killed by a bomb in May 2004.

In September 2008, Yamadayev’s older brother, Ruslan, a former Duma Deputy and also Hero of Russia, was shot dead while driving through the centre of Moscow.