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Movladi Baisarov (left) was killed after Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov (right) disarmed Baisarov's Gorets special division.
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Nov. 21, 2006
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The Chechens Remove a Witness
// Movladi Baisarov was never accused of anything
New details have come to light about the special operation in which Chechen police killed Movladi Baisarov, former commander of the Gorets special division and colonel in the FSB. In the Staropromyslovsky district prosecutor's office in Grozny, which is investigating the kidnapping case that Baisarov was involved in, they tell Kommersant that he was only a witness and had not even been declared wanted in the case. Witness Baisarov was shot by an officer of the extra-agency guard whose job description did not include participating in the special group that came to Moscow from Chechnya.
We sought Baisarov as a witness, Staropromyslovsky District prosecutor Andrey Potapov told Kommersant. Potapov is investigating the 2004 deaths of ten members of the Musaev family in Grozny. Since we have evidence of the possible involvement of the commander of the Gorets division and his men in the crime, the tactical service was charged with finding Baisarov and informing him of the necessity of his appearing in our office to give evidence. We did not charge him with anything. Moreover, we are not talking about the murder of the Musaevs, but about their kidnapping. Bodies were found recently that have been preliminary identified as belonging to members of that family but, since identification has not been completed, we cannot say that they have been killed. Thus, at the time of his death, Baisarov was a witness in a kidnapping case. That is, a law-abiding, unsullied citizen of the Russian Federation.

Nonetheless, when the Chechen Interior Ministry received instructions from the prosecutor, it took the initiative of declaring Baisarov wanted on a national level as a suspect in the kidnapping of the Musaevs. That was done on November 15. No significant progress had been made in the case by that date, according to Potapov. The usual, routine work was going on, he said. That is to say that there was no reason for the prosecutor to make criminal charges against Baisarov. The Interior Ministry had none either. It was only engaged in a support investigation under the prosecutor's command.

There are also questions about the jurisdiction. If Baisarov was really a senior officer in the FSB (he had identification n his pocket showing him to be a colonel in the FSB), the military prosecutor or the FSB itself should have summoned him for questioning, not the civil prosecutor. People close to Baisarov and under the control of Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov say that the Interior Ministry did not take action while the authoritative commander had the support power agencies in Grozny and Moscow. But, on November 14, under the personal guarantee of Kadyrov, the last 33 fighters in his disbanded Gorets special division laid down their arms. Former deputy commander of the division Khamzat Dudushev even swore an oath of loyalty to the prime minister and stated that Baisarov simply used us for his own goals. Around the same time, the FSB called off its group that had accompanied Baisarov in Moscow. Immediately after that a brigae was set up in Grozny that officially was supposed to take Baisarov into custody and deliver him to Chechnya. For some reason, that group included not only members of the Department to Combat Organized Crime (Russian abbreviation UBOP) and criminal investigators who specialize in detainment, but Baisarov's former colleagues from the security force of Chechen president Akhmat Kadyrov. (After that forces was restructured, most of its members were reassigned to the extra-agency guard service and the patrol service.)

The prosecutor's office of the Southern District of Moscow has classified Baisarov's killing as murder and determined that he was suffered 11 bullet wounds during his detainment on Leninsky Prospekt. He received five wounds in the chest and one each in the head, neck, stomach, right shoulder, left forearm and right hip. The investigation has determined that seven of those wounds were made by the AKS-74U machinegun belonging to senior lieutenant in the extra-agency guard service Sultan Rashaev. It is not yet known who else shot at Baisarov. Shells from both machineguns and standard-issue police pistols were also found at the scene of the crime, as were shells from a Stechkin, the favorite gun of Chechen law enforcement. All the shot were fired at close range.

The case has been initiated not in relation to specific persons, but due to the fact of Baisarov's death, Svetlana Petrenko, press secretary for the Moscow Prosecutor's Office, told Kommersant. An evaluation of the justification for the use of police weapons will be made as part of the investigation. Police sources say that Petrenko's words do not correspond with regular practice. If there is no doubt about the justification for the use of a weapon, the prosecutor's office immediately waives any criminal case based on a pre-investigatory check, Kommersant was told. The Souther District prosecutor's office is conducting an investigation of illegally carrying arms in connection with the two pistols and homemade grenade that were found on Baisarov's body. Baisarov did not have the chance to use his weapons.

Chechen President Alu Alkhanov, who was supported by Baisarov, held a press conference in Grozny yesterday. He stated that he was not prepared to talk about the special operation that had taken place in Moscow since he was aware of it only from press accounts. But he expressed his sympathy for Baisarov's family. I know that Baisarov and his division took active part in combating Wahhabism and terrorism on the territory of Chechnya, he said.

Movladi Baisarov was in the State Duma two weeks ago, Gennady Gudkov, a member of the Duma Security Committee, told Kommersant. He met with his people and came to see me. He talked about the blockade of the Gorets division and the situation in the republic as a whole. And now I find out that he was shot down in the center of Moscow. If he was really not guilty and not even wanted, then it was murder. Chechens shooting it out in Moscow that's something terrible. We will definitely consider the situation at the next meeting of the committee. Deputy chairman of that committee Viktor Ilyukhin said that the Russian Prosecutor General's Office should make a legal assessment of the special operation, and the State Duma a political assessment of it.

Alexander Zheglov, Sergey Mashkin

All the Article in Russian as of Nov. 21, 2006

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