Victims seek compensation from alleged organizer of 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis
MOSCOW, February 9 (RAPSI) – Victims have filed five claims seeking in total 5 million rubles ($84,000) in damages from Khasan Zakayev, an alleged mastermind of the hostage taking at the Dubrovka theater in southeast Moscow in 2002 that left 130 dead, RIA Novosti reported Thursday citing lawyer Igor Zuber.
The lawsuits were accepted by the Moscow District Military Court.
There are 912 injured persons in the case. More claims for compensation may be filed; amount in dispute may therefore reach 1 billion rubles ($16.8 million), the agency quoted Zuber as having said.
Earlier, Zakayev pleaded guilty to transfer of weapons in 2001 and 2002. He received about $4,000 and a mobile phone for weapon delivery. However, he noted that he did not know what he was supplying and for what purposes.
Zakayev also denied his complicity in terrorist attacks, killings, and taking hostages.
Investigators claim that Zakayev was a member of a criminal gang headed by Chechen separatist leader Shamil Basayev and assisted in organizing the terrorist attack and taking of hostages at the theater. In 2002, he allegedly organized transportation of weapon and homemade explosive devices to Moscow for terrorists.
A group of terrorists led by Movsar Barayev took hostage the audience and participants of the Nord-Ost musical on October 23, 2002.
40 attackers were killed. Zakayev is the only one who was arrested, victims’ lawyer Igor Trunov said earlier.
The majority of hostages were released in an operation planned by Russian security services.
Shamil Basayev who was reportedly killed in 2006 and Gerikhan Dudayev who is still at large are among the organizers of the attack, according to investigators.