Today, on 14 December 2020, the judge of the Gudermes City Court of the Chechen Republic pronounced a verdict in the case of former Rosgvardiya officers Bekkhan Abdurashidov and Aslan Dukayev who were charged with illegal apprehension of Aleksey Kardashov from Dagestan. The court declared them to be guilty of abuse of office and sentenced them to three and a half years of conditional term. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture will be appealing against the verdict.
As we have previously reported, on 15 April 2019, Tsilya Yakubova from Khasavyurt town of the Republic of Dagestan applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. She reported that on 14 September 2017, her son Aleksey Kardashov brought her to the dentist on his car and she has never seen him since. On the same day, Yakubova applied to the Investigative Committee and reported her son missing.
On 21 September 2017, a criminal case was opened with this regard by the Khasavyurt Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Republic of Dagestan under part 1 Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“kidnapping”). On 2 April 2018, criminal cases were initiated with regard to the fact of theft of money from Kardashov’s bank cards, as well as of his car. Later on, all the three criminal cases were joined in one procedure.
On 15 October 2018, based on Omarov’s evidence, investigator of the Khasavyurt Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Republic of Dagestan initiated criminal proceedings with regard to Aleksey Kardashov’s murder. In November 2018 the case was transferred to the first department for major cases with the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Chechen Republic, due to the fact that Omarov gave testimony that the Chechen law-enforcement officers were involved in Kardashov’s kidnapping.
On 11 January 2019, four Chechen law-enforcement officers Kalogi Aziyev (Deputy Head of Interdistrict Department No.2 of the Drug Enforcement Department of the Ministry of the Interior of the RF for the Chechen Repulbic), Alikhan Yusupov (Head of the same department), Aslan Dukayev and Bekkhan Abdurashidov (officers of the Department of the Federal Service of National Guards troops for the Chechen Republic (“Rosgvardiya”)) were put on a wanted list with regard to Aleksey Kardashov’s abduction.
However, after the criminal case was transferred to the Chechen investigators, the circumstances changed abruptly. On 15 February 2019, Omarov suddenly applied to the Department of the Interior for the Gudermes District himself with a confession of Kardashov’s murder. So from a witness Omarov turned into a defendant.
Despite the new evidence provided by Omarov, in March 2019, Dukayev and Abdurashidov were arrested on suspicion of Kardashov’s abduction. They were charged under item “a”, Part 2 of Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abduction of a person performed by a group of persons”). Later on, they were charged under item “a” of Part 3, Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abuse of office using violence”). Later on, the investigative authorities drew a line between the actions of Omarov and the actions of former Rosgvardiya officers Abdurashidov and Dukayev, having severed the criminal case against former law-enforcement officers.
On 29 November 2019, after the criminal case returned from the Prosecutor’s Office for the third time, the investigative authorities decided to qualify the actions of Rosgvardiya ex-officers in a different way in the framework of the criminal legislation. Abdurashidov and Dukayev were charged under Part 1 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abuse of office without using violence”). According to a new theory of the investigative authorities, law-enforcement officers only performed illegal apprehension of Kardashov, having violated territorial and departmental jurisdiction, but they did not apply violence and did not intend to abduct Aleksey.
On 23 November 2020, Said-Magomed Omarov, on the evidence of whom the criminal case against Abdurashidov and Dukayev was based, was declared guilty of Aleksey Kardashov’s murder and of theft of his car. The court sentenced Omarov to nine years of jail time with serving a sentence in maximum security penal colony.
At the present time, Kalogi Aziyev and Alikhan Yusupov are still on the federal wanted list.
Today, judge of the Gudermes City Court of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Tamakov declared Abdurashidov and Dukayev to be guilty of the committed crime and sentenced them to three and a half years’ conditional term.
“We will appeal against this verdict, because the court ignored a lot of important proofs which, in our opinion, testify that the convicts are guilty of much more serious crimes than just illegal apprehension, – head of the North Caucasus branch of the Committee Against Torture Dmitry Piskounov comments. – Our objective is to ensure that the criminal case is returned for additional investigation, that it is joined with the criminal case against Omarov, cases of Aziyev and Yusoupov, as well as with the case against an unidentified person who stole money from Kardashov’s bank card. Only in this case the court will have a full scope of evidence and it will be able to pass a fair ruling”.