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APPENDIX 16. Evidence by participants in the events
Written by Administrator   
, 29 2006

16.1. Testimonial evidence given by S.V.Yastrzhembsky (Volume 1, File sheets 196-200)

I can state the following from the facts of the criminal case:

I found out about the seizure of hostages and the terrorist attack on the DK GPZ (Palace of Culture of the State Bearings Factory #1), located at Melnikov Street #7 in the city of Moscow after it had occurred. At 10pm on October 23rd, 2002, Iarrived at the scene of the events in the area of the DK, on orders from Russian presidents chief of staff, A.S.Voloshin. Arriving before me was my assistant, P.A.Kudryavtsev, and later my other assistants, A.V.Mochevsky and S.V.Lagutenko, arrived. I set up in one of the offices in Veterans Hospital #1 in order to be near the DK. The operational headquarters for the armed forces and law enforcement agencies, including the FSB, was also locating itself in this building. I coordinated and cleared my activities through the first deputy director of the FSB, V.E.Pronichev at the ops headquarters.

Personally, Idid not play a direct role in negotiations with the terrorists, rather, Itried to find contacts among the hostages by getting their cell phone numbers from journalists and FSB officers working at the headquarters, and Ihanded these to the negotiators. V.Pronichev gave his consent to all negotiations, and the negotiators could take any actions without his permission, as far as Iknow. During the early stages of the events no one from the Russian government sought out negotiators on purpose. Of their own accord came A.A.Aslahanov, and I.D.Kobzon, who also suggested Dr. L.M.Roshal, the chief physician of a childrens hospital, as a negotiator. Later, after we had made contact with the terrorists, the later demanded as negotiators: Nemtsov, Hakamada, Yavlinksy, and Politkovskaya. Since the last two were not in Moscowat the time, they arrived later. The negotiators talked with the terrorists either by telephone or by entering the DK building, and they spoke only with two of the terrorists: Movsar and Abu-Bakar, Ifound out from the negotiators. Also, according to those who were inside the DK negotiators Kobzon, Aslahanov, Roshal, and Hakamada, together with representatives from NTV, English journalist Franketti, and independent journalist Sergey Govoruhin, who accompanied them Ifound out the terrorists demands, which developed in the following sequence. I possess more summary information about this, so Imay be mistaken a bit in the sequence. The first thing that the terrorists demanded was the removal of Russian forces from the ChechenRepublic. When we told them that the removal of forces was unrealistic in such a short time, that it was a very protracted process, the terrorists put forward the demand for the removal of Russian forces from any region in Chechnya, but did not specify exactly which. When this process would begin and their accomplices would inform the terrorists, then they, the terrorists, would start to release groups of hostages. Later, if the removal of forces continued, they would release all of the hostages, but they themselves would not leave the building under these circumstances. They declared themselves suicide forces, and had come to die for the Islamic Chechen government. They contended that if the event of an assault they would try to destroy the maximum possible number of law enforcement officers, or as they put it: Russian special forces. The last stage of the terrorists demands was that relatives of the hostages hold a demonstration on Red Square in support of their demands to remove Russian forces from Chechnya. Aslahanov rendered this demand concrete after his talks. He said that the terrorists demanded Russian forces removed from Chechnya so that they could set up an Islamic state in the territory. They declared to Aslahanov that he and other officials of the Chechen government were under the Russians, i.e.: under the influence of the Russian authorities and on the side of the Soviet (sic) government, and the terrorists did not need this and would not negotiate with them. The last demand of the terrorists was to speak with an official representative of the Russian president who could make independent decisions on their demands during negotiations. After this, V.G.Kazantsev, plenipotentiary representative of the Russian president, was put forth as a negotiator. He spoke with the terrorist named Abu-Bakar on October 25th, 2002, and offered to hold talks on October 26th, 2002, so that he could arrive in person. (Kazantsev) on his part simultaneously set as a precondition that all of the children be released, but the terrorists did not consent to this condition. I can also state that Iknow of no demands being made for money or the release of imprisoned Chechens from detention. I got the impression, and it was obvious, that the terrorists were could not make decisions independently, there was the feeling that they were consulting with their people outside the DK building, and that they were political uncertain and unprepared. I will clarify, that at first the terrorists stated that they would only speak with the ambassadors of foreign states whose citizens were among the hostages, foreign journalists, representatives of the Red Cross, and the Doctors without Borders public organization. Later, however, they refused to allow participation by Doctors without Borders. At first they would name no one, but on October 24th, 2002, they demanded to meet with an English journalist of Italian nationality named Franketti, who according to my information had earlier illegally entered regions of military operations in Chechnya on several occasions. On that same day Franketti showed up at the operational headquarters with a thin, young Chechen male who at the time Iwas not acquainted with, but whom Franketti introduced as someone able to make contact with the terrorists, and wanted passage into the DK. They were together the entire time, and more than once Iobserved this young Chechen speaking into his cell phone. I did not hear the conversations and do not with whom he was speaking. Franketti went to the DK building accompanied by this Chechen. Later Isaw this Chechen enter the DK building from a different direction, not from the direction of the headquarters, from where Franketti and he had been preparing to enter the DK. I also saw that the Chechen at this time was stopped by persons from outside the police cordon, and did not see him again after this. When Franketti and the Chechen were getting ready to go to the DK, they were looking for a video camera to bring with, and journalists from NTV gave them one. When Franketti returned from the DK, he reported that he had interviewed the terrorists, and that the terrorists had not demanded that it not be broadcast. A little later Ifound out from Pronichev that there was operational information that the terrorists had ordered their accomplices outside the DK building to kill Franketti for failing in his promise not to broadcast his interview with them. Additionally, in connection with the questions Iwas provided, Iwill explain that MRP (member of the Russian parliament) A.A.Aslahanov with continuously present in the operational headquarters. I never once saw the young Chechen Imentioned earlier speak with Aslahanov. Personally Idid not meet with this young Chechen, nor did Ieven speak or give any orders in his presence, including through my assistants. I did not tell anyone, including this young Chechen, about broken pipe in the basement of the DK building, which was making noise. I never heard anyone ordering the young Chechen to release hostages, including pregnant women or a Dutch citizen. I personally spoke with the Russian-born Dutch citizen, whose name Ido not recall, who was with her son among the hostages. I spoke to her by telephone. She was hysterical and spoke in a disjointed fashion, asking the whole time that we release the foreigners first. She said that she did not recall any conversations or attempts at her release by any Chechen from outside, i.e.: from the street. I will add and clarify that Ireceived all my information on the events from FSB officers in the operational headquarters, from released hostages, including Maria Shkolnikova, with whom Ispoke by phone. As far as the negotiators, Ido not possess their first-hand information, so Icannot accurately indicate the chronology of the events or connect facts with specific times. Information about the terrorists demands, the situation inside the DK building, and the conduct of the terrorists is contained in the testimony of the negotiators, which Ipossess, especially that of Novaya Gazeta journalist A.Politkovskaya. Other than this Ihave nothing to add.

QUESTION BY THE INVESTIGATOR: Who took part in the decision to conduct a special operation to rescue by force the hostages? When was such a decision made? Did you personally take part in this process? What were the reasons for making such a decision?

ANSWER: I did not take part in making the decision to storm the DK building. I do not know who made this decision and what conclusions led them to this decision.

QUESTION: What was your role at the operational headquarters?

ANSWER: I was not a part any headquarters and not possess any official technical supervisory plenipotentiary (credentials). I arrived at the scene with the consent of A.S.Voloshin and provide the Russian presidents office with information, as well as organizing the headquarters work with the media.

The protocol was read to me. Any corrections or explanations were made in my own writing. Signed.

16.2. Testimonial evidence given by G.A.Yavlinsky (Volume 1, File sheets 211-213)

I can state the following from the facts of the criminal case:

I agree with testimony concerning the circumstances of my participation in the negotiations with persons who had captured the theatrical center on Melnikov Street #7, Moscow.

On October 24th, 2002, Iwas in the city of Tomsk. That day my assistant, S.S.Kurdyukov, phoned me and reported that he had been called by a woman who was being held hostage at the theatrical center on Dubrovka, and she had said that those persons who had captured the building were prepared to hold talks with me about conditions for releasing the hostages. I quickly informed PresidentV.V.Putin and his chief of staff, A.S.Voloshin, and asked if the federal authorities were preparing to hold negotiations, i.e.: was there any point in my participation. I was informed that my participation would be useful. On that same day Iflew back to Moscow. Right after arriving, Idrove over to the hostage rescue headquarters and spoke with its leaders and their deputies. From the headquarters Imade contact with the hostage takers, and they told me that they were ready to hold talks if Iwould come alone and unarmed. I agreed, and on the night of 2425October Iwent to the captured building. Three armed men in masks stopped me. They led me to the basement premises of the concession stand, where three unmasked men who appeared to be Chechens were waiting. One of them was Barayev, another was his assistant Abu-Bakar, and Ido not know who the third was. I offered to deliver their demands to the authorities so that it would be possible to release the innocent hostages. I was told that their demand was the removal of Russian forces from Chechnya. I declared that the given demand could not be carried out in a short period of time. During the course of the negotiations we settled on three demands: a heavy weapons (artillery and aircraft) ceasefire starting the following day, a cessation of round ups (of suspected Chechen rebels), and talks by telephone between Putin and Maskhadov. The hostage takers told me that they were ready to die, and that in any case none of them would leave the theatrical center alive. If their demands were not met, however, they were ready to begin killing the hostages. It took this threat to be serious, though there was a lot of bravado in their words partly since they continuously threatened me with their weapons without cause. I informed PresidentV.V.Putin of the results of the talks with the hostage takers, and passed on the demands of the terrorists. Much later the decision was made to settle the problem by force, and Idid not participate in any other negotiations with the hostage takers.

On acquainting myself with the text of my interrogation protocol, Iwould like to enter some clarifications into it: communications with the hostage takers in the theater hall was made by the first deputy director of the headquarters, and he gave me the telephone so that Icould talk about my entry into the captured theatrical center; though in the words of terrorists there was much bravado, they did not threaten me with their weapons they attempted to intimidate psychologically by hinting at possible violence; Idid not report the results of the negotiations directly to V.V.Putin, but to his chief of staff, A.S.Voloshin, and through him the report was delivered to the president. I have no other additions and observations. I would also like to clarify that the hostage takers did not speak directly about murdering the hostages, but let it be understood that they were prepared to start killing them.

16.3. Testimonial evidence given by journalist A.S.Politkovskaya (Volume 1, File sheets 204-207)

I can state the following from the facts of the criminal case:

On October 23rd, 2002, Iwas in the city of Los Angeles (California, USA), where Iwas at a ceremony honoring me with the Courage in journalism award (an international prize, founded by a number of groups). I am a special correspondent for the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and since Iam accredited to work in the zone of anti-terrorist operations in the Chechen republic, my reporting on events in the North Caucasus occupies significant place in my professional activity. AsI already said, while Iwas in the USA the deputy editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, Alexey Mihailovich Sokolov telephone my hotel, and he reported the seizure of hostages at the theatrical center on Dubrovka in Moscow. This was during the night of 2324October 24th, 2002, Moscowtime. After this Ihad several other telephone conversations with colleagues and relatives. Later Ireceived a call from a collaborator from our editorial staff, Elena Milashina, and she reported that the hostage takers, through REN TV, had made a statement that they desired to conduct negotiations with me personally. Since Iwas worried about the fate of the hostages, Idecided to immediately depart for Moscow in order to render all possible assistance in solving this problem. I arrived in Moscow on the morning of October 25th. I called my son, Ilya Alexandrovich Politkovsky from the airport and requested that he would bring to me some warm clothing and tell me the telephone number where Icould contact my friend Ilya Lysak, who was also being held hostage and had repeatedly telephoned my children. After calling this number (I do not remember it just now), Iheard the voice of an unidentified man with the accent of someone from the Caucasus. This was one of the terrorists, but he did not give his name. I discussed with him the possibility of safe passage into the captured DK building. I arrived on the scene in a vehicle from the newspaper, and immediately proceeded to the operational hostage rescue headquarters. From among the law-enforcement officers and other members of the headquarters, Imostly spoke with the Russian president's assistant, V.Yastrzhembsky, whom Iknew from my work in Chechnya and who, in my opinion, under the extraordinary conditions of the situation was the most accessible. He asked me in my talks with the terrorists to bring up the question of providing the hostages with food and blankets, and to outline their specific demands. At about 2pm Iheaded towards the DK building with DoctorL.M.Roshal. After solving a number of disagreements with the soldiers and police, we passed through the last special forces checkpoint and went in the main entrance of the building. There was no one on the first floor, and no one answered our calls. We climbed the stairs on the right side of the entrance up to the second floor. In the foyer of the second floor there it was dark and also empty of people. We continued to call out names and passed through the foyer along the counter of the bar.

A man in camouflage appeared from behind the bar. It was one of the terrorists. I gave my name and asked with whom Iwould be negotiating, and who was authorized to make decisions. He replied that those people now would come. We waited a rather long time, more than a half-hour, while from various locations came terrorists, both women and men, some masked and some with their faces showing. The women were dressed in the usual Chechen clothing. Roshal tried to speak with these people, but without much success. After awhile an armed man in the camouflage came out and silently made a motion for me to follow him. He took me into a room by the bar, Roshal was not allowed, and he asked me to find out about to assisting a hostage with acute appendicitis. In the room was an unidentified man who was not wearing a mask. He pointed where Iwas to sit, and Isat down with my back to the door. The man was Abu-Bakar and he stated that he was fully authorized to make any decision. When Iasked about Barayev, he replied that Barayev was sleeping and could not speak with me at that time. When Iasked him to outline terrorists' demands, he stated that the president of Russia must publicly report his intentions to end the war in Chechnya and to prove the removal of Russian forces from any one region of the Chechen republic must be carried out. If the stated demands were met, he promised to release all the hostages. When Iasked about their other intentions, Abu-Bakar stated that they would remain here to fight, and that they would all die. From my conversation with him and the other terrorists, Iformed the impression that this was their real and intended goal. Other terrorists soon approached, including women. Ispoke with one middle-aged woman (who looked to be 3540years old), and she said that her relatives and those of the other women did not know about their participation in the act of terror, but thought that they had gone to work at the marketplace in Vladikavkaz. The gunmen refused to allow me into the auditorium, and said that there was no need for blankets, since it was hot in the hall. I managed to get them to allow the release of a man with appendicitis. I would like to note that during my conversation with Abu-Bakar, he received a phone call from Boris Nemtsov. I do not know content of their conversation, but it soon turned increasingly insulting. My first visit to the captured building ended on this, and in leaving the gunmen advised to me not to use right-side stairway, since it was dangerous (due to snipers outside). Also, Iwould like to add that we were able to agree on delivering juices and bottled water to the hostages. The terrorists allowed me one assistant, a colleague from our newspaper's editorial staff, Roman Yurevich Shleynov. After leaving the building Imet with Yastrzhembsky and briefed him on the situation. Since, according to him, they had no juices or bottled water at that moment not, Ioffered to collect money to buy some, and so we did. As far as Iknow, Muratov called up Yavlinsky, who at that moment was at in the Kremlin. Also Iwould like to note that while Iwas located near the DK building after negotiations with the terrorists, unidentified persons who did not look to me to be law enforcement officers managed to get into the building without difficulty. In particular, in my presence two women clearly of North Caucasus descent went into the building. I could not find anyone to comment on this. Afterwards, as soon as the beverage problem was solved, Roman Shleynov and Istarted carrying them into the DK building and stacking them nearby the stairway on the 1st floor.

We carried in such a way drinks until evening. It is hard to say how many trips we made. At this time Iperiodically conversed with different terrorists, but Iwas not able to meet with Barayev, though Iasked to. On one of my trips into the DK, Iwas approached by the already mentioned Abu-Bakar, and he asked me to pay his cell phone, and gave me its number. I do not remember this number now, but Ithink that it is in my records, and Ican report this later. Since Ihad no money with me, Ipassed on this request to Yastrzhembsky. I do not know if this problem was solved or not. About 11pm Iwent home. Yastrzhembsky called me at about 3am and said that it might be necessary to make another trip into the captured building, and Iagreed to do this. Then he said that he would call back later, but he never did.

QUESTION: Describe the appearance of the man who identified himself as Abu-Bakar.

ANSWER: This man appeared to be 3035 years old, although in conversation he said he was 26, he was tall and husky, with typical Chechen features, and he also spoke with the characteristic Chechen accent. He was dressed in camouflage and always had an assault rifle with him. I would like to note that all the terrorists that Isaw looked and spoke like the average person from the North Caucasus did. As Iunderstood it, many of them came from the Vedensk region. I did not meet any Arabs or Slavic persons. I would like to clarify that since Iknow Chechens very well and understand their language, Ican confirm that all the terrorists Isaw in the DK building were of Chechen descent.

I have nothing more to add to this testimony.

 
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