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Peregrine Falcon case reaches its destination
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, 23 2012

:   / In a month it will end up in Moscow City Court

Kommersant found out that the FSB has completed its investigation into the celebrated criminal case the attempt during the summer of 2011to derail the Peregrine Falcon passenger express on its route from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Thefour young men accused of the crime immediately plead guilty, and for the duration of the investigation have been trying to reach some kind of a pre-trial deal. However, a counter-proposal by the investigators to mitigate their punishment if they confess to being ideological militants and members of the banned Caucasus Emirate terrorist organization does not suitthem.

Members of the investigative team told Kommersant that the preliminary investigation into the case is done and that the accused and their attorneys are acquainting themselves with the collected case materials. According to them, they need about a month to study the ten volumes of the case, so around late August the case should go to the Prosecutor General’s Office for approval, and then on to Moscow CityCourt.

The case will be tried before a single or a trio of professional judges. Inthe final version of the case the suspects are to be charged with preparing terrorist attacks, illegal possession of weapons, and the manufacture of ammunition (Articles 30, 205, 222and 223of the Criminal Code). There is no provision for a jury during such atrial.

According to investigators, Islam Hamuzhev, a businessman from Kabardino-Balkaria, put together the group, which includes the defendants. TheFSB believe that he spent the summer of 2009in a Dagestan rebel camp, where he was trained to be a commando. Hamuzhev was trained, according to the FSB, by Hasan Abdullayev, emir of the so-called southern Dagestan sector of the Caucasus Emirate terrorist organization, and after finishing field training, he was allegedly send to Moscow by Doku Umarov, leader of the Emirate, on mission to commit a terrorist attack on a major transport facility.

In one of the capitol city’s mosques, Hamuzhev met with Moscow Chechens Murad Edilbiyev and Murad Umayev, as well as Moldavia resident Fyarit Nevlyutov. Hamuzhev suggested the derailment of the Peregrine Falcon passenger train on the Moscow to St. Petersburg route. Hamuzhev’s friends and associates supposedly agreed, because, according to investigators, they decided that in this way they could avenge themselves on federal forces for counter-terrorist operations in their republic.

In June of last year, the accomplices bought 10kg of ammonium nitrate, and the alleged organizer of the attack purchased somewhere an electrical detonator and a car alarm, which they planned to use to make a remote-controlled bomb. Theconspirators drove Nevlyutov’s Ford Mondeo to an area near the Firsanovka railway station, where they selected a convenient spot to mine the tracks, sketched a diagram of the location, then later downloaded from the internet a timetable for the October Railroad’s Peregrine Falcon.

The last stage of preparation for the terrorist attack on the train, as it turned out, was held under the tacit control of the FSB. Inearly July, the secret services first picked up Hamuzhev, followed by all of his henchmen. Theremaining leaderless conspirators hastened to rid themselves of the bomb, as well as a Saiga carbine and a hand grenade dating back to 1942. Theywere arrested during their nighttime excavations.

The defense is convinced that these young people decided just to play at “rebels against the regime”, but would never have dared to really derail the train. Testifying to this, according to attorneys, is their behavior during the final stage of preparations: Hamuzhev tried to escape from the main group, while the rest rushed to rid themselves of explosives and weapons. Thedefense hopes that due to their confessions, the accused will receive leniency from thecourt.

In Kommersant

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