x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Lawyers cast doubt on Yamadayev murder evidence

Some of the fingerprints investigators collected in the Sulim Yamadayev murder have not been presented as evidence in the case, defence lawyers say.

DUBAI // Some of the fingerprints investigators collected in the Sulim Yamadayev murder have not been presented as evidence in the case, defence lawyers said yesterday. Prints on a bag used by the assassins to hold the murder weapon, a gold-plated 9mm Stechkin APS pistol, identified only the Iranian defendant M H, according to a forensic report presented in the Dubai Court of Appeals.

Abdullah al Madani, representing M H, told the court that only his client's fingerprint was recovered even though more than 20 people handled the bag before it had been taken into evidence. M H, the Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov's horse groomer in Dubai, and the Tajik national M A, both 37, were convicted in April of planning, aiding and abetting the murder of the Chechen warlord in the car park of a Jumeirah Beach Residence building in March 2009. They also were convicted of possessing the gun believed to have been used to kill him.

An investigator testified yesterday that another set of prints was lifted from the bag and found to match a set of gloves at the crime scene. The investigator said the source of those prints was unknown and they were omitted from the report because they could not be identified. Mr al Madani then questioned the investigator about why only his client was mentioned in the report, resulting in his becoming a defendant.

The investigator said that M H's prints had been clearest, though he was unable to say why all the prints were not presented in their report. Their defence team also questioned the integrity of forensic investigations in the case. However, the court refused to direct Mr al Madani's question to the investigator about whether the State Security department had interfered in the case. Mr al Madani told the court that he needed to explore inconsistencies in the report to prove his client's innocence. He asked the court to present the chief forensic investigator at the next hearing to allow him to question her about the findings.

Four other suspects are being sought by Dubai authorities. They include Adam Delimkhanov, a former Chechen deputy prime minister and a current member of the Russian parliament. The court adjourned the case until July 20. amustafa@thenational.ae