x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Yamadayev murder scene map was in suspect's flat, court told

A hand-drawn map of the car park where the former Chechen warlord Sulim Yamadayev was killed was found in the home of one of the suspected killers, a court hears.

Sulim Yamadayev, in this September 2007 file photo, is seen in Grozny, Chechnya.
Sulim Yamadayev, in this September 2007 file photo, is seen in Grozny, Chechnya.

DUBAI // A hand-drawn map of the car park where the former Chechen warlord Sulim Yamadayev was killed was found in the home of one of the suspected killers, a court heard yesterday. M H, an Iranian former horse groom for the Chechen president, Ramzan Kadyrov, and M J, a Tajik national, are accused of aiding and abetting a premeditated murder and possessing an unlicensed weapon. Major Ahmad al Merri, the chief investigating officer, told the Dubai Criminal Court that he had recovered some of the evidence that clarified the alleged plot, including the hand-drawn map, which he discovered on a counter in the kitchen of M J's flat in Deira. It showed the layout of the car park beneath Jumeirah Beach Residence, where Yamadayev was shot dead on March 28.

Under cross-examination by Ibrahim al Qassim and Obaid Obaid, acting for M H, and Saeed Al Ghailani, acting for M J, Major al Merri said Yamadayev's bodyguard had said he did not see the gunmen. However, Major al Merri told the court that police suspected two brothers, Ramazan and Zelimkhan Musayev, of the shooting. When asked by Mr al Qassim whether there was a relationship between M H and M J, Major al Merri said he had not inquired about that. According to court records, M H was arrested in Umm al Qaiwain.

The lawyers then asked whether the gun - reported to have been gold-plated - had been brought into the country by the Chechen presidential delegation. The question was disallowed by the court. Yamadayev had commanded the elite Vostok battalion in Chechnya. Formerly a Chechen rebel fighter, he was reported to have switched sides to fight for the Russians. Dubai Police have said the former warlord survived multiple attempts on his life before he moved to Dubai, several months before his death, with his wife and six children. According to the charge sheet, police officers claim the defendants have confessed to their part in the plot.

However, at a court appearance on August 31, both M H and M J denied having confessed. Their police testimony also states that they alleged the involvement of Adam Delimkhanov, a Russian MP and former Chechen deputy prime minister, in the plot. The court adjourned the hearing until November 16, when the testimonies of two more investigating officers will be heard. amustafa@thenational.ae