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Captured Rebel Leader Raduyev Hopes for 10 Years

: Gazeta.Ru  

Prior to facing trial, the captured rebel warlord Salman Raduyev granted an interview to the Dagestani media, in which he admitted he hopes to be released from prison in some 10-12 years.

Raduyev claims that he was arrested by the Federal Security Service (FSB) because his former brothers-in-arms betrayed him.

Raduyev also refuses to accept that Dzhokhar Dudayev, the first president of the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, is dead.

And finally, Raduyev claims he suffers from no mental disorders whatsoever and says the results of the psychiatric tests he has undergone prove it.

Salman Raduyevs trial is due to commence on November 15 in the Supreme Court of Dagestan in Makhachkala.

In January 1996 a gang led by Salman Raduyev attacked the Dagestani villages of Kizlyar and Pervomayskoye. In those attacks 78 people were killed, including civilians, policemen and army servicemen.

The prosecution alleges that Salman Raduyev is guilty of a whole series of terrorist activities, banditry, seizure of hostages, kidnapping, murders, etc. Altogether, he faces charges under 10 articles of the Russian Criminal Code.

Below is a slightly abridged version of Raduyevs interview: Dagestanskaya Pravda newspaper :

Salman, this is your second time in Dagestan. (The first time was Kizlyar, 1996 Gazeta.Ru note). What did you feel then, what do you feel now?

I will tell you with utmost honesty: in the days when I was a prefect (head of administration) of one of the districts in Gudermes (Chechnya), I used to come to Dagestan quite often, I maintained good relations with many Dagestan nationals.

Therefore, it was very hard for me to come to Dagestan on a combat mission (in 1996). If it had not been Dudayev, but some other military commander who issued the order, I maybe even if faced with the threat of death by shooting, would have never fulfilled it. With Dudayev, too, I argued about the necessity of that operation

Was it Dudayevs order?


By the way, do you still think that he is alive?

Yes, I do since so far nobody has shown me his grave Well, so, that operation (in Kizlyar) pursued purely propaganda goals

That propaganda claimed 78 lives

You know, I disagree with that figure.

The court is likely to establish the truth. How do you feel now?

I will tell you honestly: I feel as at home, even though I am in jail. They treat me well. Despite everything, Dagestani and Chechen people will always remain brotherly peoples because they have lived for centuries as brothers.

And how did they treat you in Lefortovo? (Lefortovo is a high security pre-trial detention prison in Moscow for high-ranked officials and serious offenders - Gazeta.Ru)

Like a general. Id say, (they treated me) in a very decent manner.

In your opinion, what is the way the Chechen people should choose now?

I am a realist in politics. The current situation does not allow for hurling people into the endless war and chaos. I am convinced that it is possible to find a peaceful solution to the problem and to live together with Russia. That would not inflict any damage to the honour of the Chechen people.

Relationships must not be built up on the basis of vengeance. Russia too, a great power, will probably, make its step forward.

Incidentally, what do you think of the chief of the Chechen (pro-Moscow civil) administration Akhmad Kadyrov?

I treat him with respect. He is the person Chechnya needs at the moment. In earlier days, back in 1995, I persuaded Dudayev to appoint Kadyrov as Mufti. (Shamil) Basayev, and (Aslan) Maskhadov consider him a traitor. But I do not. They just cannot forgive him for taking their place.

Media reports abound with information about you, but next to never is there any word of your relatives.

My parents, brother and sisters live in Gudermes. To my surprise, the Russian authorities treat them well. I have a wife and two sons Dzhokhar and Salman. They do not reside permanently in one place. Sometimes (they stay) in Turkey, where my sister lives, sometimes in Azerbaijan, in Malaysia, where my friends are. They keep changing places all the time. And I do not make a secret of it.

But that requires money? Yes, before the war I was a businessman.

And how did your mother take what was done in Kizlyar and in Pervomaiskoye?

No mother could view such things favourably. Neither did my mother Umisat. I tried to explain to her that there were orders

Salman, but after all you were captured. How did it happen?

I was betrayed.

Your men?

My men. And not those of the lowest rank. They betrayed me to get rid of a rival.

Salman, you suffered serious wounds, underwent surgery in Germany, as you say. Dont you feel any emotional discomfort after all that?

Absolutely none. Forensic tests, too, have shown I am sane.

What do you think of Maskhadov?

I was the political opponent of Maskhadovs regime from the very start. And now with his silent consent religious fanatics radicals, Wahabbi supporters have played the political card to the detriment (of the situation). It is inadmissible for Muslims to wage war against Christians and vice versa.

What was your opinion of the (rebels) incursion into Dagestan from Chechnya in 1999?

I denounced it. It was a tragic mistake. Let me reiterate: the Dagestani and Chechen people are two brotherly people.

Do you trust the court in Dagestan?

Entirely. Otherwise, I would challenge it.

Who will defend you (in court)?

Arbi Bakhanayev, a Chechen national. Maybe, there will also be 1 or 2 Dagestani lawyers.

What sentence do you expect?

If its objective, 10-12 years

13 18:46


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