Who Should We Kill Now, Zarema?
// Terrorist Zarema Muzhikhoeva testifies in Beslan
The Kulaev Case
First Deputy Chairman of the Parliament of North Ossetia Izrail Totoonti and Zarema Muzhikhoeva, who is serving a 20-year prison term for a terrorist act in Moscow, testified at the trial of Nurpasha Kulaev. Muzhikhoeva stated that Kulaev was not a rebel and Totoonti said that the school was stormed when Aslan Maskhadov might have come to Beslan.
Maskhadov Confirmed He Was Ready to Go to Beslan
Ella Kesaeva, leader of the Voice of Beslan, a splinter group from the Mothers of Beslan, petitioned to have Izrail Totoonti. He recounted hearing about the terrorist act while accompanying a delegation of Fatherland Party to the airport. He and the Moscow politicians changed course for the airport. The witness added details about the conversation between one of the terrorists and his wife, who was brought in from Ingushetia.
“On the night of September 1, they brought in the wife of Iznar Kodzoev and their three children,” Totoonti said. “Members of the operations center said that she had a telephone conversation with her spouse.”
In spite of the repeated claims by the Prosecutor General’s Office that no terrorists escaped from School No. 1 in Beslan, Kodzoev was killed not in Beslan, but in his native village of Kantyshevo, outside Nazran in April 2005.
Totoonti also mentioned that journalists from Al-Jazeera television were on hand ready to participate in the negotiations and enter the school even as hostages. “They were ready for three days to provide any help, but their services were not needed by anyone,” Totoonti noted.
Totoonti also gave evidence contrary to that of Gen. Sobolev, commander of the 58th Army, who said that tanks did not fire on the school during the day while there were hostage live inside.
“The earth shook beneath our feet,” Totoonti said. “I first heard the tanks fire at about 2:00 in the day. That was before we began bringing hostages out of the school.”
The witness said that he spoke to Aslan Maskhadov’s representative Akhmed Zakaev on April 7 and asked him to recall whom he spoke with on September 2 and 3.
“He answered that he found out that the school had been seized from informational sources,” Totoonti said. “He didn’t know who did it or what their demands were. I asked him why he didn’t take the initiative to help free the children and he said that ‘then they would accuse me of being an accomplice: seized them myself and freed them myself.’ But after a call from [former president of Ingushetia Ruslan] Aushev and a conversation with [former president of North Ossetia Alexander] Dzasokhov, who said to do everything possible to save the children, he contacted Maskhadov through a third party. That conversation took place at about midnight on September 2-3, and at 9:00 in the morning, Maskhadov confirmed hat he was ready to come to Beslan. Maskhadov did not make any demands or ask for any guarantees for his safety. The only thing he wanted was to enter the school unhindered. After Zakaev reported that, he… saw that the storming had started in Beslan. The difference between here and London is three hours, so if it was 9:00 n the morning there, it was 12:00 here. Maskhadov asked for two hours. An hour after that conversation, the storming started.”
How Can We Meet Basaev?
After the end of Totoonti’s testimony Judge Aguzarov called Zarema Muzhikhoeva.
“Zarema Musaevna, are you acquainted with the defendant?” asked prosecutor Maria Semisynova.
“Yes,” she answered. “In 2003, Thy brought me to Mozdok to commit a terrorist act. I refused then and they took me to the house of Rustam Ganiev in the village of Troitskaya. That’s in Ingushetia. I saw Nurpasha there. I can’t say that he led anything or was a rebel. My brothers decided that I should be married and Khanpasha [Nurpasha Kulaev’s older brother, who was killed in the school] said that he wanted me to be wed to him. I practically lived with him. Nurpasha and his wife Zhanna lived in the same house but I don’t think he had any influence there. I saw him as a normal person, unlike the others.”
“But during the preliminary investigation, you said that you saw him [Nurpasha Kulaev] in Basaev’s subdivision,” Semisynova said.
“No. Maybe I said that I saw Khanpasha.”
Muzhikhoeva added that she never saw Nurpasha Kulaeva with weapons nor did she see him pray.
Emotions flared up after the victims were given the opportunity to question the witness.
“Who shall we kill now?” Someone shouted from the audience.
“Terrorists,” Muzhikhoeva answered.
All the Article in Russian as of Dec. 23, 2005