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Newspaper: Suspect in Putin assassination plot was member of Caucasus Emirate group

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Aug. 13, 2012, 4:31 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine


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The main suspect in a criminal case on a plot to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin, Adam Osmayev, headed in Odesa a branch of the Caucasus Emirate terrorist organization and was a member of this group in Ukraine, an employee of the Prosecutor General's Office has told the Segodnya newspaper.

"Osmayev's activity in Ukraine was tracked by the Russian Federal Security Service. Intelligence services in Russia also knew that two militants from Caucasus Emirate had come to see him. A fire on Tiraspolskaya was the only evidence that a terrorist attack was being prepared in Odesa. After that, it was decided to put Osmayev on the wanted list and arrest him," the newspaper quoted a representative of the Prosecutor General's Office as saying on Monday.

According to the law enforcer, Osmayev's personal messages and conversations with emissaries from the Caucasus Emirate were found on his computer.

The suspect's common-law wife, Amina Okuyeva, told the newspaper that if her husband is transferred to Russian law enforcement agencies, it would lead him to his certain death.

"Adam won't live to attend a court hearing… A criminal case against him was trumped up, and it will simply collapse in court. It's not advantageous to the Russian security services. He was imprisoned as a result of a provocation that was skillfully planned by the FSB," she said.

As reported, the alleged criminals who were on put on the international wanted list were arrested during a special operation in Odesa on February 4. These individuals are suspected of staging an explosion in Odesa on January 4, 2012. The explosion killed 26-year-old Russian Ruslan Madayev and seriously injured 28-year-old Kazakh citizen Ilya Pyanzin.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office sent a criminal case, which was opened earlier by the Interior Ministry under Article 263 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (illegal treatment of weapons, ammunition or explosives), to the investigation department of the SBU office in Odesa region.

The elements of improvised explosive devices were found at the scene of a fire. Pyanzin, who was injured during the incident, was arrested and started actively cooperating with investigators, saying that the leader of his group was Osmayev (who was arrested in Odesa in February).

On February 27, the SBU confirmed reports that Russian and Ukrainian security services had foiled a plot by terrorists, who were arrested in Odesa, to assassinate Putin after presidential elections in Russia.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office received a request from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office for the extradition of Osmayev, a suspect in Putin's assassination plot.

In March 2012, the testimony of suspects helped opened a criminal case against the detainees under Article 258-3 (the creation of a terrorist organization) and Articles 14 and 258 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (plotting a terrorist attack).

On August 7, Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Zvyagintsev said that the Russian Prosecutor General's Office was waiting for a response from Kyiv on two requests for Osmayev's extradition.

A legal source told Interfax-Ukraine that the suspects in Putin's assassination plot had appealed the decision on their extradition to Russia. According to the source, a decision on extradition can only be made by a court, and as long as there is no such decision, Ukraine cannot meet Russia's request for the extradition of these individuals.

On August 10, the Court of Appeal of Odesa region started considering the question of Osmayev's extradition to Russia.

Kyiv Post staff writer Yuriy Onyshkiv can be reached at onyshkiv@kyivpost.com

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