CHECHEN CIVILIANS WERE KILLED FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT

Author: Musa Muradov

CHECHEN CIVILIANS WERE KILLED FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT. (By Musa Muradov. Kommersant, May 25, 2007, p. 5. Condensed text:) The Chechen Prosecutor's Office yesterday announced the completion of the investigation of a high-profile case involving Ruslan Asuyev, a 26-year-old former lieutenant in the Chechen police. In order to advance their careers, Asuyev and three associates killed civilians who they claimed were terrorists. Human rights advocates say that instances of local and federal [law-enforcement] personnel dispatching totally innocent people under the guise of fighting militants are by no means isolated.

Akhmed Khasanbekov, chief of Operational-Investigative Bureau No. 2 under the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs' Chief Administration for the Southern Federal District, told Kommersant that Ruslan Asuyev, the ringleader of the rogue policemen, had been captured in Astrakhan early this year. "He fled Chechnya back in 2006, when some of our detectives who were investigating the murder of Grozny resident Khamzat Gaitukiyev detained two suspects, Islam Agayev and Asian Dzhamulayev - former officers with the counterterrorism center operated by [Grozny's] Staropromyslovsky Borough Internal Affairs Department," Mr. Khasanbekov recounted. The arrested men told how they and Ruslan Asuyev, who at the time was acting chief of the Staropromyslovsky Borough Internal Affairs Department's criminal police division, had killed Khamzat Gaitukiyev....

The arrested counterterrorism officers told investigators that their boss, in hopes of rapidly advancing his police career, had constantly demanded that they carry out productive special operations. "If we were unable to apprehend or destroy a real militant, he (Ruslan Asuyev - Ed.) would order us to find and kill just anybody and claim the person was a bandit." ...

In January 2007, Chechnya's Supreme Court sentenced Islam Agayev and Asian Dzhamulayev to 14 years' incarceration in a strict-regime penal colony. And yesterday the republic prosecutor's office reported that it had completed its investigation of the case involving the rogue policemen's ringleader, Ruslan Asuyev. Officials at the Chechen Ministry of ...

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