Alleged organizer of 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis sentenced to 19 years in jail
MOSCOW, March 21 (RAPSI) – The Moscow District Military Court has sentenced the alleged mastermind of the hostage taking at the Dubrovka theater in southeast Moscow in 2002 that left 130 dead, Khasan Zakayev, to 19 years in close confinement, RAPSI learnt in the court on Tuesday.
Zakayev was found guilty of participation in activities of an organized criminal group, preparation of an act of terror, accessory in hostage taking, attempted murder of two and more persons, illegal possession of firearms, and malicious destruction of property.
Earlier, prosecutor asked the court to sentence Zakayev to 23 years in prison.
There are 912 injured persons in the criminal case, who had lodged several claims seeking about 100 million rubles ($1.7 million) in compensation from Zakayev.
Zakayev has 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. He also denied his complicity in terrorist attacks, murders, 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.
Forty 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.