We ask you to pay attention to the case of Zara Murtuzaliyeva - Monstrous fabrication of terrorism charge
On March 4th 2004 the 3rd year student at the Linguistic University of Pyatigorsk and native of Chechnya, Zara Murtuzaliyeva, born in 1983, has been detained in Moscow .
Zara has arrived to Moscow in September 2003 to find work and to financially support the family of her widowed mother, since her two younger sisters have left school and were supposed to continue their education. Because of this she had to choose this way of working far away from her home.
The young woman arranged to work in an insurance company and found a place to live. However, on demand of the owner she soon had to leave the room. At this time she got acquainted with the Moscow residents Anna Kulikova and Darja Voronova, who shortly before converted to Islam and were visiting a mosque where they have met Zara. The young women became friends and Anna suggested Zara to live at her place. Anna's mother, Valentina Mihajlovna Kulikova agreed to accept the friend of her daughter and so some time Zara lived in the family Kulikova. On Valentina Mihajlova she has made a very positive impression.
After a short time Zara, Ànna and Darja decided to live for themselves. At this moment Zara met a member of the Special Forces against Organized Crime of the the Municipal Department of Internal Affairs of Moscow (ÓÁÎÏ ÃÓÂÄ) Said Ahmaev, who began to help them and even offered them a free-of-charge room in a hostel. Later it appeared that Said "took care" of the young women under order of his superiors and that the room, where he has lodged them, has been equipped with audio and video recording equipment. Shortly before moving the young women, a member of the FSB has visited Valentina Mihajlovna at her work to inform her that concerning Zara operative - search actions are carried out. He asked her for the permission to examine her apartment in absence of Anna and Zara. At the search, which has been carried out with the consent of V.M. Kulikova but without the presentation of any sanctioning documents, the members of the Special Service were interested exclusively in the belongings of Zara. Among them was not found any forbidden object. However, the photos taken by the girls during the New Years holidays in the shopping mall "Ohotny Rjad" (Îõîòíûé Ðÿä), where they usually visited the internet cafe, have caused unexplainable interest.
In the evening of March the 4th Zara has been stopped by members of the militia for a document check close to her working place in the district Kitai-Gorod. They took her to the other end of Moscow to the Department of Inner Affairs (ÎÂÄ) "Prospekt Vernadski" to determine her identification. The militia took her fingerprints and told her that she would be released after the dactyloscopic procedure. However, after washing her hands when Zara was going to take her handbag and leave the department, she noticed that the bag unexpectedly appeared fuller than it was before. The militiamen demanded to see the bag for examination and withdrew two briquettes in foil, which appeared to be packs containing 196 gram of the explosive "Plastit-4" (Ïëàñòèò-4).
Zara Murtazalieva has been put under guard and was charged under Criminal Code article 222, part 1 (ñò.222, ÷.1 ÓÊ ÐÔ) for illegal purchase, storage and transportation of explosives. During preliminary investigation the organs of inquiry put pressure upon Anna Kulikova and Darja Voronova with the purpose to get indications that Murtazalieva involved them in terrorist activity and prepared them for the fulfillment of an act of terrorism.
On October 25th 2004 Valentina Mihajlovna Kulikova has addressed for support to the Committee "Civil Assistance" (Ãðàæäàíñêîå ñîäåéñòâèå). She told the chairman of the Committee, Svetlana Gannushkina that her daughter got threatened: if she will not give the required indications she will be involved in the criminal case not as a witness, but as an accomplice. In the beginning of the investigation the Nikulinskaja Interdistrict Office of the Public Prosecutor (Íèêóëèíñêàÿ ìåæðàéîííàÿ ïðîêóðàòóðà) was engaged. In connection with its "urgency" though, the case has been transferred to the Management on Investigation of Gangsterism and Murders of the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Moscow (óïðàâëåíèå ïî ðàññëåäîâàíèþ áàíäèòèçìà è óáèéñòâ ïðîêóðàòóðû ã. Ìîñêâû). Later it went to the Federal Secret Service (ÓÔÑÁ) across Moscow and the Moscow area.
Proofs of the "criminal intents" of Murtazalieva, as to blow up the escalator in "Ohotny Rjad" are results from the decoding of audio and video records of conversations between the young women about different topics, including their attitude to the war in the Chechen Republic, Islam and also photos on which, among other things, one can see the mentioned escalators.
This way this case on terrorism has been built into 4 parts:
Zara Murtazalieva has been charged under several articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation:
The 22.12.2004 was the beginning of the judicial hearings on the case of Zara Murtazalieva. The case was examined by judge M.A. Komarova of the board on criminal cases of the Moscow City Court. The defence was carried out by lawyer Z.T. Usmanova. The witnesses of the prosecution A. Kulikova and D.Voronova were interrogated in session of the court and have not confirmed the indications given on the preliminary investigation that Murtazalieva has declined them to the fulfillment of an act of terrorism.
During this session judge Komarova rejected the petition of Murtazalieva, maintained by the lawyer, for the admission of the defender E.Z. Rjabinina, sent by the Committee "Civil Assistance".
23.12.2004 The petition has been declared repeatedly in written form and has been again rejected. Under the circumstances and also in connection with the illness of lawyer Z. Usmanova, the Committee "Civil Assistance" and the programme "Migration and Law" of the Human Rights Center (HRW) "Memorial" realized the defence of Murtazalieva through the lawyer V.K. Suvorov.
12.01.2005 The hearing was continued. Judge Komarova has illegally forbidden lawyer Suvorov to make an audio record of the process, thus having deprived the defence of the possibility to make remarks to the contents of the reports of the court-session. The judges interdiction has been repeated the next day. Besides, the judge has warned the public about the intention to use special recording devices in a hall with working dictaphones.
Interrogated by the court as witnesses, the members of the Department of Inner Affairs "Prospekt Vernadski" could not explain the distinct reason for them not taking finger-prints from the packs of the explosives "found" in Murtazalieva's handbag and not examining her fingernails or possible remains on the hands of the arrested person.
The same day the chairman of the Committee "Civil Assistance", Svetlana Gannushkina, has been interrogated in court. She stated that Mihajlovna Kulikova addressed her, a human rights defender, on 25.10.2004 and told her about the pressure through the investigation which was put on her and her daughter: "you should be put together with your daughter" - inspector V.M. Kulikova said, getting the necessary indications after interrogating for eight hours, talking in a menacing tone and asking unclear questions about her daughter. Gannushkina also finally denied the version of the charge after which Murtazalieva suggested the young women to pass preparation in a terrorist camp "øàõèäîâ-ñìåðòíèêîâ" close to Baku: Under information received by her directly from the Ministry of National Security (ÌÍÁ) of Azerbaijan in this republic there are no such camps, as checked by the ÌÍÁ of Azerbaijan and the FSB of the Russian Federation.
In the same session public prosecutor Mr. Safina has presented material of evidence of the prosecution: an audiocassette taken from Murtazalieva with records of songs of Vladimir Vysotski and Timur Mutsuraev and quotations from "recorded" (ïðîñëóøêè) conversations of Kulikova and Voronova about their emotions caused by these songs.
On 13.01.2005 the Accused was interrogated for some hours. Zara Murtazalieva denied the version of the Accusation about location and course of her detention and told about how she was beaten at Petrovka 38, trying to force her to sign a recognition of the criminal intents. She also gave the court the information that the decoding of audiocassettes contains phrases, which are not present on audiocassettes. On the question on her present relation to her friends, who had given the indications against her, Zara answered that she does not condemn them: "If they were interrogated by the same methods, as I have been at Petrovka, they didn't have another choice. I have sustained, since I am innocent and rescued myself, but they have been compelled to be rescued.”
Zara's interrogation ended with the survey of the photos taken from her. Out of the completely finished film with 36 pictures the investigators and court were interested only in those 6 on which in the escalator of the mall Ohotny Rjad was visible.
After this V.M. Kulikova has been repeatedly interrogated. She confirmed everything told by Gannushkina on the day before. She explained that on the first interrogation she did not inform the court in an obvious kind about the pressure put on her and her daughter, since she has been strongly frightened by members of the Special Services who demanded "not to tell anybody anything". "After the interrogations of Anna, I understood that it is necessary to protect all three silly girls. My civil conscience has not allowed me to stay silent. They broke the girls and darkened my soul" - said Valentina Mihajlovna, explaining the reasons of her appeal to "Civil Assistance" and her repeated attendance at the court.
Furthermore, under the initiative of the defence the videocassettes were watched. After request of Murtazalieva it took place closed to the public, since the young women refused a public demonstration of video recordings on how she and her friends changed clothes and made hygienic procedures.
After the watching of the tapes the public has not been admitted to the hall. According to lawyers, judge Komarova has rejected all petitions of the protection for citation of additional witnesses, including - Said Ahmaev; and also about carrying out of a stationary psychiatric examination of Murtazalieva, Kulikova and Voronova. The court took the decision to end all examination during the trial.
On 17.01.2005 hearings of arguments took place, the Court session was appointed for 10:30 am.
On January 17th the hearings of arguments were finished.
The public prosecutor demanded:
The defence considers that the prosecution has not been able to give any proofs and that its statement represent not more than an individual opinion.
At 4 pm the verdict has been declared: Zara Murtazalieva was found guilty and got condemned to 9 years of imprisonment in a prison of general mode.
By results of the decree on January 18th 2005 at 10:30 am a press conference was taking place in the independent press centre at Tverskoje Bulvar 20.
Participants: HRC "Memorial" and the Committee "Civil Assistance"