I’m next on Chechnya’s death list

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From Times Online

May 10, 2009


A Chechen clan leader who has seen two brothers shot in the past year claims the republic’s president wanted them dead

The clan’s militia has been disbanded

Mark Franchetti, Moscow

THE muscular young Chechen looked pale and tired as he opened a steel reinforced door to his flat on the outskirts of Moscow.

After the murders of two of his brothers in the past year, Isa Yamadayev, 34, believes he is next on a death-list drawn up by powerful enemies of his family.

Ever mindful of the danger, Yamadayev remains largely indoors with the blinds down, a gun close by and several armed bodyguards next door.

As we sipped tea, he accused Ramzan Kadyrov, the 32-year-old president of Chechnya, of having wanted his brothers dead because they refused to bow to his will. Calmly, he predicted his own death at the hands of the same killers — and also swore vengeance.

“I’ve no doubt that Kadyrov is behind all this,” Yamadayev told me in a recent interview. “He won’t stop until we’re all dead because he fears us. His people will come after me, too. Let them come. I’m ready. They will get what they deserve.

“Even if we’re all killed, we are a big clan. Our deaths will not go unpunished. The day will come when Kadyrov will face justice for what he has done. He’ll end up in jail.”

The Yamadayevs were once one of Chechnya’s most powerful families. But since opposing Kadyrov, who runs the tiny republic with an iron fist, they have been branded criminals by the president.

Last September Ruslan Yamadayev, 46, the eldest of six brothers and a former member of the Russian parliament, was gunned down in his Mercedes-Benz at traffic lights outside the British embassy in Moscow.

In March Sulim Yamadayev, 35, was killed in Dubai, where he had gone into hiding after Kadyrov had ordered his arrest. He was shot several times as he walked with two guards to his BMW in the underground car park of the luxury apartment block where he lived.

Police in Dubai have accused Adam Delimkhanov, a cousin of Kadyrov and MP for Chechnya in the Russian parliament, of masterminding the assassination. According to testimony from a suspect held in Dubai, Delimkhanov’s guards gave him the murder weapon — a gold-plated Russian-made Makarov pistol that was discarded after it had been used.

Last month Interpol issued arrest warrants for Delimkhanov and several other Chechens for the murder. They are unlikely to face trial, however. As an MP, Delimkhanov enjoys immunity from prosecution in Russia and the Russian constitution bars its nationals from being extradited.

Both Kadyrov and Delimkhanov have denied any link to the killing.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6257012.ece

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