Yamadeyev Murder Accused Gave Lift’ to Assassin
DUBAI - An Iranian defendant in the case of the assassination of former Chechen warlord Sulim Yamadayev gave a lift many times to the alleged mastermind behind the manís slaying, while his Tajik accomplice helped the suspected killer flee the UAE, a court heard on Thursday.
The alleged mastermind, who was named only as Adam by a police officer in the Court of First Instance, is believed to be Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Adam Delimkhanov.
A police officer was quizzed in the Court of First Instance as he translated, from Arabic to Farsi and vice versa, for an officer who interrogated the Iranian.
“The Iranian gave a lift to someone called Adam, whose full name he allegedly did not know, to Dubai airport,” the police officer said.
Apart from Adam and the Iranian, there was another Chechen man in the car. They waited for about 45 minutes in the paid parking lot of the airport. Then they followed the car of a man, a woman and a child (believed to be Yamadayev and his family). Adam had filmed them with his mobile phone.
“They followed the victim and his family from the airport to their place in Rimal building in Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR),” the witness said.
“Then Adam and his companion stepped of the car and went around the area.”
After their walk, the Iranian asked Adam what he wanted from the victim and Adam started to swear and said he wanted to finish him because of a grudge, the police officer said.
Before he left the UAE, Adam asked the Iranian to keep a small suitcase for him. “Out of curiosity, the Iranian opened the suitcase later and found a gun,” the officer said.
“He hid it inside a villa of a Kazakh who was out of town, in Emirates Hills.
“Later, upon an order from Adam, the Iranian handed the gun to the suspects near Clock Tower in Deira. They were watching the victim’s residence.”
The Iranian was aware that a murder would take place but did not know when. He did not inform the police about it.
The 37-year-old Iranian clerk is standing trial with a Tajik business partner, 37, for abetting and conspiring in the assassination of Yamadayev.
Yamadayev was shot in the back of the head in late March this year as he stepped out of his four-wheel drive in the basement car park under the flat he shared with his wife and six children in JBR.
The Tajik is accused of conspiracy in the murder according to a well-studied plan. Court records show that he followed the victim to his residence on March 28 and passed on that information to the murder suspects. Based on his call, they went to the place and assassinated Yamadayev.
A lieutenant, who interrogated the Tajik, told the court that the latter’s role was to give a ride to the suspects to the victim’s place in JBR.
“The search for Yamadayev’s whereabouts lasted for more than one week,” the lieutenant said.
“After determining his location, they kept a close watch on his residence.”
On the day of the incident, the Tajik went with one of the suspects to the area where the victim lived and kept roaming around looking for him until noon.
Then they sat in a coffee shop for one hour till they saw the victim’s car passing by. He informed the other suspects. On the way to the airport, he asked two suspects whether they accomplished the “mission” (murder) and they told him they did. The Tajik gave a lift to the killer to the airport and helped him acquire a travel ticket. “The killer could flee the UAE right after the crime,” the lieutenant said.
“The Tajik was offered $100,000 for his contribution but he said he did not get anything.”
The Tajik’s counsel Jumaa Al Bawardi requested the court to summon the Chechen President to the court. He wanted to hear his statement as he visited the UAE along with an official delegation in late 2008.
The UAE police are still seeking five other suspects at least. Adam, who is mentioned in the investigation and court’s interrogation, is believed to be Adam Delimkhanov, Chechen Deputy Prime Minister. He was named the mastermind of the assassination of Yamadayev.
“A gun left by Yamadayev’s killer was found to be registered to guards of Adam Delimkhanov,” Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, had said earlier.
The police have sought the extradition of Delimkhanov to the UAE.
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