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The murderers of Farid Babayev, the leader of the Dagestan branch of YABLOKO, can be releasedT

Press Release
December 25, 2009

The relatives of leader of Dagestan YABLOKO and human rights activist Farid Babayev murdered in 2007, expressed their concern that the defendants had been ruining the case and that the killers would get freedom soon. The key witness of the plaintiffs who had seen the killer suddenly retracted his testimony.

On January 20, 2009, the Supreme Court of Dagestan ruled out that Rasil Mamedrizayev, a citizen of Dagestan, was guilty of murder and sentenced him to 16 years of imprisonment. The second of the culprits Seferali Sefemerzoyev accused of complicity in the murder was acquitted.

The plaintiffs appealed this decision in the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. The barrister of Mamedrizayev also appealed the decision demanding acquittal for his client. On June 4, 2009, the Supreme Court of Russia abrogated the previous decision and send the case to the Supreme Court of Dagestan to a new trial by a new composition of the court.

The only witness who gave testimony in the case under a fictitious name of Telman Akayev had seen the murderer running from the site of the crime with a gun in his hand. The witness memorized the face of the killer and pointed at Mamedrizayev during the investigation. Akayev confirmed his testimony at one of the trials standing behind the screen. After that the barrister of the accused Suleiman Azuyev threatened the witness stating that he and his relatives are well-known to the defendants. Despite multiple applications to the court the Investigation Committee of the Public ProsecutorТs Office failed to provide steadfast protection to the witness. The witness missed several sessions of the court and later there emerged information that he left for Uzbekistan together with his family.

In view of this his testimony given during the investigation was read out loud during the session the court. A relative of Akayev, a policeman, confirmed the testimony. This confirmation was also attached to the case.

The relatives of Farid Babayev told that in their opinion the choice of barrister (Ms. Miasiat Abasova) for witness Akayev was very strange. The barristers has the same name as the most vicious enemy of Farid Babayev Ц Kerimhan Abasov, head of administration of Dokuzparinsly Distrcit. Initially he and his son were suspects in the case. УThe Abasovs is a very rare surname in Dagestan,Ф relatives of Farid Baabyev noted. They also saw the witnessТ barrister Miasa Abayeva communicate with the defendants.

Also, according to the family of Farid Babayev, it was not by chance that during the last trial Public Prosecutor Gusein Alilov who had been engaged in the case in all the courts for two years suddenly turned out to be on holiday. The new Public Prosecutor did not have time to learn the ten volumes of the case: in two days after he was appointed he had to participate in the process.

Judge Israfailov dismissed the head of the jury and appointed a new one. Also he stated that he was going to finish the process by the new year. The family of Farid Babayev join all these events in one chain targeted at exemption of the murderers from the liability.

УIt is obvious for us that the authorities of Dagestan are playing into the hands of the murderers and making everything they can so that to release them. This is proved by the fact that they did not ensure protection and safety of the witnesses,Ф Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKOТs leader, said. According to Mitrokhin, huge efforts of the investigation that created a precedent for those who implement political murders can be reduced to nothing. Consequently, the killer would be released and would continue receiving new orders, while his other colleagues would get a signal that murders of public and political figures may go unpunished, Mitrokhin noted.

Leader of Dagestan YABLOKO, number one in the election list of the party in Dagestan, Farid Babayev was gunned in the entrance of his block of flats on November 21, 2007, several days prior to the State Duma election. Doctors fought for his life for three days, but Farid died on November 24.

Farid Babayev was human rights activist, he defended constitutional rights of the citizens of Dagestan investigating the case of shooting of the rally of the residents of Dokuzparinsky Distrcit which took place in 2006, he also abruptly criticized the arbitrary actions of the local authorities protesting against corruption, murders and kidnapping.

Farid has four children.

See also:
The Murder of Farid Babayev

The Russian Supreme Court overturns the ruling of a lower court on the murder of the leader of the Dagestani branch of YABLOKO. Press Release. June 4, 2009

Press Release
December 25, 2009