In a dramatic turn of events two men sentenced to life in prison for aiding and abetting the murder of Chechen warlord Sulim Yamadayev have been given a reprieve by the victim’s brother.
The defence lawyer of the prime accused MT, an Iranian clerk told the Dubai Court of Appeal that an agreement has been reached with Isa Yamadayev, who chose to exercise his right to reduce their sentence.
A provision of Sharia allows relatives of murder victims two options, to seek the death penalty or to extend forgiveness to those convicted of the crime. The second option is often exercised in exchange for increased blood-money payments.
Yamadayev, a former Chechen rebel commander, was dismissed from his command of an elite Chechen battalion in 2008 and forced to flee the republic. He had been living in Dubai with his wife and six children since January 2009.
Yamadayev was returning home from Dubai International Airport on March 28, 2009, after a trip outside the country, when he was shot in the back three times in the underground car park of his home in Jumeirah Beach Residence.
MT and MK, Tajik businessman, were accused along with others of the assassination.
Both the Dubai Public Prosecution and the defendants appealed the ruling of the Court of First Instance.
The Court of Appeal asked the two defence lawyers to submit their final arguments in the next hearing scheduled for October 12.