Prosecutor seeks 37 years in jail for Russians over involvement in Chechen militant’s murder
ISTANBULAn Istanbul prosecutor has demanded a total of 37 years in jail for three Russians over their suspected involvement in the assassination of a Chechen militant in 2015 and spying activities, daily Habertürk reported on Sept. 7.
The indictment was reported to have prepared in February 2017 but its details have only recently come to light.
In November 2015, a Chechen commander named Abdulvahid Edelgiriev was killed in Istanbul’s Başakşehir district in an attack. According to the case indictment reportedly seen by the daily, Edelgireyev was approached by a white car, and was then shot and stabbed by assassins in the car.
Police investigations reportedly found that the car was rented out 20 days before the assassination by Russian citizens Andrei Sholkhov, Dimitri Bodrov and Vladimir Voronon.
Five months later, in April 2016, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) teams and the Istanbul police conducted a secret operation to detain two Russian nationals, indicated to be spies, the 52-year-old Iurii Anisimov and 55-year-old Aleksandr Smirnov, according to the indictment.
These two names, along with Aleksandr Nasyrov, another Russian national who is currently on the run, are alleged in the indictment to have conducted exploration and logistical works prior to the assassination, which was carried out by other individuals.
In the operation, Turkish police reportedly seized fabricated Interpol identities, photographs belonging to Russian state officials, and five cell phones belonging to the “spies.”
Regarding the two arrested Russian nationals, Anisimov and Smirnov, and Nasyrov, an Istanbul prosecutor prepared an indictment in February 2017. The prosecutor demanded 37 years in jail for the suspects on charges of “attempting to acquire the state’s secret information for political and military spying purposes,” “assisting a planned voluntary manslaughter,” and “forging official documents.”
The indictment alleges that after the two arrested suspects, as well as the fugitive Nasyrov, acquired information regarding the whereabouts of the Chechen militant Edelgiriev, three Russian hitmen arrived in Turkey in October to commit the murder.