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Chechnya Deputy PM Named in City Murder

Ahmed Shabaan and
Martin Croucher / 5 April 2009

DUBAI - The deputy prime minister of Chechnya is being sought by Dubai Police for ‘masterminding’ the killing of former rebel leader Sulim Yamadayev.

Dubai Police Chief Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said that Adam Delimkhanov brought a pistol into the UAE while on an official state visit, and that pistol was later used in the murder.

“There is no immunity for the mastermind of this crime, or for the killer himself,” Tamim told reporters on Sunday. “Therefore the name of the Chechen leader, Adam Delimkhanov, will be listed and circulated to Interpol.”

The police chief further said, “This murder was part of the struggles that seem to happen on a daily basis in Chechnya. It is also one which the Chechen Republic is exporting outside its borders. These struggles cannot be allowed to take place in Dubai.”

Sulim Yamadayev was shot dead in the car park of Rimal 6, in Jumeirah Beach Residence on March 28. At the time, police called the murder an “assassination”.

Once a fierce opponent of president Ramzan Kadyrov, the former commander of the largest independent militia in Chechnya fled to Dubai four months ago.

There are six suspects, including Delimkhanov, and police already have two men in custody. The other men have been placed on a wanted list.

Tamim said that the murder weapon was a Russian pistol owned by Delimkhanov.  “The weapon was not bought in the UAE. We believe that Delimkhanov brought the weapon in on a previous state visit,” he added, without specifying the date. “It was an abuse of the diplomatic process.”

Police sources said previously that Russian authorities had been unwilling to cooperate in the investigation. The Russian consulate was unavailable for comment on Sunday.

Tamim said that the killer shot Yamadayev in the back of the head and then dumped the weapon. The bloodied gloves and shirt the killer had been wearing at the time were dumped on The Walk in JBR, while the gun was thrown elsewhere.

Police named the five other suspects on Sunday, but did not say who among them might have carried out the actual killing.

One person acted as spy, Tamim said, reporting on Yamadayev’s movements to time the killing properly.

Yamadayev had two guards with him at the time, both of Middle Eastern origin, although neither is suspected in the murder.

Those the police have in custody are Makhsood Jan, a Tajik, and Mahdi Lurnia, an Iranian. Search is on for the remaining: Zalim Khan Mazayev, a Russian, Salman Kemaef, a Kazak, and his brother Turbal Kemaef. They are believed to have left the country soon after the murder.

news@khaleejtimes.com

 
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