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05 June 2023

'Golden gun' focus of trial

'Golden gun' focus of trial. (EB FILE)

By Mohammed Elsidafy

One of the men accused of killing Chechen leader Salim Yamadeyev was given a bag for safekeeping before the attack – and when he opened it he found it contained a golden gun, a court heard yesterday.

The defendant, MT from Iran, formerly worked as a groom for Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. He and businessman MJ from Tajikstan are accused of assassinating Yamadeyev.

The former commander of the Vostok Battalion was shot dead last March at an underground car park below his home in Dubai in front of his two bodyguards. He had lived in the city for several months.

The golden gun revelation was made by Dubai Police officer Mohammed Hassan Al Motawa, who interrogated MT with the help of an interrogator.

Al Motawa testified that MT told him he met a person called Adam during an earlier visit to Dubai by Yamadeyev. MT said he drove Adam to Dubai International Airport in his car after the other man said he wanted to meet a person holding the same nationality as he.

MT saw a man accompanied by a woman leave the arrivals hall and Adam took a picture of the couple with his mobile phone, according to Al Motawa.

The man and woman left in a car and Adam asked MT to follow them until they reached their home. Adam then left the car and examined the residence before returning half an hour later.

When MT asked Adam why he was following the couple he swore and said the man should be killed, said Al Motawa. MT then took Adam to his home.

The day before Yamadeyev was due to leave Dubai Adam asked MT to give him an empty bag, which he did that evening. The following day Adam returned the bag to MT and told him to keep it for him until he contacted him, the court was told.

Adam then left the country, and MT opened the bag out of curiosity and saw the golden pistol inside, it was alleged. He stored the bag at the home of a Kazakhstani national.

Three months later Adam called the defendant and asked him to send an SMS giving Yamadeyev's address, it was alleged. Adam told MT that a group of people would call him and ask him to hand over the bag and take them to Yamadeyev's home. Al Motawa said the group duly called MT and he handed over the bag and guided them to the home.

The trial at Dubai Criminal Court was adjourned until February 25, when lawyers are due to present the case for the defence.

The public prosecution has suspended an investigation into seven Russian nationals suspected of being involved in the assassination as they have not been found.

Man admits drugs charges

A man has admitted possessing and consuming hashish, Dubai Criminal Court heard yesterday. KA, a 38-year-old Arab, attended yesterday's hearing. The case was adjourned until February 18 when a verdict is expected.

In a separate case, Arab defendant BM, 28, said Dubai Police had falsely accused him of carrying out a series of car robberies. He is charged with stealing a car but says he has already faced trial for the alleged offence.

The presiding judge told the defendant he would study the case.


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