This story was published 2 days ago in Russkaya Vesna. For people still horrified by the recent events in Paris, especially the wanton shootings at the Bataclan theater, this story is a reminder that (1) very rarely do terrorists ever get punished in the legal system for mass murder; and (2) on the rare occasion when a terrorist IS brought into a courtroom, it is usually many years after the fact.
The terrorist attack on the Nord-Ost Theater in Moscow, which took place on 23 October 2002, was considered the worst Islamist terrorist attack to take place on Russian soil, prior to the Beslan school hostage/massacre attack which took place two years later, in September of 2004.
One of the accused Nord-Ost terrorists is a 41-year-old man named Khasan Zakaev. Only just now, 15 years later, have the criminal charges been finalized against Zakaev, by the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office. The case against Zakaev is being directed by Special Prosecutor V.I. Markin.
Zakaev is charged with the following counts of the Criminal Codex of the Russian Federation:
- Part 2 Article 210
- Parts 1 and 3, Article 30
- Part 3, Article 205
- Part 5, Article 33
- Part 3, Article 206
- Part 2, Article 105
- Part 3, Article 222, Paragraphs е,ж,ч
- Part 2, Article 105
- Part 2, Article 167
These various article encompass such crimes as:
- Belonging to a criminal gang
- Preparing a terrorist act
- Attempted murder of 2 or more people
- Illegal possession of firearms
- Premeditated destruction of others’ property
According to the case presented by the Prosecutor, the defendant Zakaev joined a criminal gang, led by Shamil Basaev; and in this capacity offered assistance in preparing the Nord-Ost terror attack, including the taking of hostages.
The defendant Zakaev was also responsible for (according to the Prosecution) transporting weapons and explosives into Moscow, in preparation for the terror attack.
The article continues with a tally of what is known to be the fates of the perps of this particular crime from 15 years ago:
In addition to Zakaev (who has not yet had his day in court), 6 other terrorists have been convicted and sentenced to long incarcerations. 40 other terrorists were “liquidated” during the course of the special forces operation at the time of the attack. One known terrorist escaped and is still known to be at large: His name is Gerikhan Dudaev.
The article concludes with an explanation of why it has taken so long to prosecute Mr. Zakaev. Says that this is an extremely complicated case, with a long chain of evidence and procedural issues, requiring a great deal of judicial expertise. The accused and his attorney are still studying the mountain of data that has been collected.