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6 Apr, 2009 13:27

Murder by man with golden gun?

Dubai police have accused a deputy of the Russian parliament of being behind the murder of the former Chechen Special Forces Commander Sulim Yamadayev, who was gunned down in the United Arab Emirates last week.

The Dubai police say they have arrested two men in connection with the case and intend to put four others – including Russia’s State Duma deputy Adam Delimkhanov – on Interpol’s wanted list.

The investigators believe the murder weapon was a gold plated Russian-made Makarov pistol. According to the chief of Dubai police, Dahi Khalfan Tamim, one of the suspects in custody said that one of Delimkhanov's guards provided him with the pitsol. The killer had thrown away the weapon after the murder. The police say they also found the gloves and jacket used in the assassination.

Ethnic Chechen Delimkhanov, formerly deputy prime minister in the Chechen government, was elected to the State Duma in December 2007.

Provocative statement

On Sunday Delimkhanov called the accusations a provocation and said that the police “have been unable to carry out a proper investigation,” news agency Ria Novosti reported.

“I’m ready to cooperate with police and answer their questions. But I’m going to bring them to account for libel according to the law,” the agency quoted him as saying.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov also said on Monday that Delimkhanov has nothing to do with Yamadayev’s death:

“The statement of the Dubai police chief about Adam Delimkhanov’s involvement in the murder of Sulim Yamadayev is groundless. It is provocative and is meant to discredit Russia and the leadership of the Chechen republic,” says Kadyrov in a statement published on the official site of the Chechen government.

“The State Duma deputy Adam Delimkhanov is currently on a visit in Syria to see the conditions of Chechen students who study in the country and to examine the curriculum to make sure it doesn’t contain any wahhabi propaganda,” the statements also says.

Tamerlan Medzhidov, an aide to Adam Delimkhanov, told RT they have their ‘own questions to the United Arab Emirates’ law enforcement agencies’.

“With all due respect to the police of UAE, I don’t understand what their suspicions and claims are based on. It’s not professional to build an investigation around gossip and speculations coming from the family of the victim and to make claims about not only a citizen of another country, but also about a member of the Russian parliament. We have our own questions to the law enforcement agencies and judicial system of this country: how could they grant entry to the criminal who fled from prosecution in his own country? Personally I see this situation as a provocation and an attempt to destabilize the situation in the Chechen Republic,” Medzhidov said.

Meanwhile, the UAE plans to seek the extradition of Delimkhanov.

Deputy of Russia's State Duma Gennady Gudkov told RT he disputes the murder claims alleged by the Dubai police.

“The Russian Constitution, Russian law forbids extradition, if the verdict was ruled by other countries’ authorities, and it does not matter if a person occupies some important post or not. As a rule, when they really want to find the truth and solve the crime the investigators cooperate with the prosecutors and law enforcement agencies of the country where the person, they are interested in, may live,” Gudkov said.

“Besides, the person they want is a State Duma deputy and the investigators should know that it’s not just about Russia – in any country there’s special procedure for bringing to account deputies. It works the same way for Europe, for the US and for any civilized country. So this claim sounds to me alarmingly like a PR or a political move,” he added. .

Interfax news agency quotes its source in the Russian bureau of Interpol as saying that Delimkhanov can only be handed over to Dubai police if arrested outside Russia.

“If Dubai’s prosecutor provide us with evidence of Delimkhanov’s involvement in the murder of Yamadayev, we will launch a criminal case which is supposed to be heard in Russian court,” the source said.

Sulim Yamadayev was shot down last Saturday, on March 28.

Initial reports of his death were contradictory, with relatives saying he had survived the assassination attempt.