Parchiev Adam, born in 1974, a resident of the town Nazran, is accused of participating in an armed raid of boeviks on Ingushetia at night of June 21-22 2004.
According to the prosecution, at night on June 21-22 he together with his friend boevik Tsetchoev Ramazan occupied a position in the building of Trade center “the 21st century”. Parchiev was located on the ground floor of the building, from there he and the other fighters who shot from different positions, subjected to fire an armed personnel carrier (APC) with Russian military servicemen. Eventually the APC was set on fire, three military servicemen were injured and then killed by ‘control shots’ in the heads.
Prosecution claims that Parchiev was involved in the raid by invitation of his neighbor TsuroevAkhmet, a member of wahhabi movement, who promised him 300 USD for the assignment, the content of which Parchiev did not know. During the first interrogations, in the presence of Laura Khumaryats, a lawyer invited by prosecution, Parchiev confided to committing the crime and explained the above details to the prosecution.
During subsequent interrogations in the presence of the defender, invited by relatives, Parchiev denied his previous confessions and his participation in the incriminated crimes and explained that he signed confession under torture.
According to Parchiev and his relatives, all night of June 21-22 he together with his elderly mother was in the area of his house in Nazran, Gekalo street, 68. When the shooting started at about 22:45 the older brother of Adam Parchiev, Alikhan, came to his mother to check whether everyone was fine in the house, and then decided to go back to his own family, since his wife and children were at home alone. Alikhan promised his mother that he would call her when he is back home.
However, during the attack the mobile connection in Nazran was not functioning well, so Alikhan was unable to call home. After some time his mother became very anxious and decided to walk to Alikhan’s place (Alikhan lived 2-2,5 kilometers from their house). Adam accompanied her.
300 meters before Alikhan Parchiev’s house (near the warehouses of MVD, so-called KhOZO) Adam and his mother were stopped by the local people. They warned Adam Parchiev and his mother that there were boeviks on the territory of KhOZO and advancing further was dangerous. One of the residents, Abukar Tsoloev, brought them his landline telephone and offered to call relatives and find out whether Alikhan had contacted them. It turned out that Alikhan had, indeed, called and he got home safe and sound. Having found this out, mother and son Parchiev went back. Having reached home, Adam spent sometime chatting with his neighbors on the bench outside their house and the went inside to sleep.
Abukar Tsoloev testified in the court that he saw Parchiev with his mother and that he brought them his landline telephone. Moreover, there is a breakdown of telephone calls, provided by the telephone station (Department for Electric connections of Republic Ingushetia) which documents that at 0:20 a call was made from the Tsoloev phone to the number of Parchiev family (22 86 70)
Alibi of Parchiev was supported in court by other witnesses (16 people), who saw him that night with his mother. The lawyer-defender of Parchiev requested that these and other people are interrogated by investigation, which was done, however, the protocols of these interrogations were not attached to the case. In the court the witnesses confirmed their being interrogated during preliminary investigation.
Notably, according to Parchiev and his relatives, he was illegally detained on August 3 2004, however, the investigation claims that Adam was detained on August 6 2004 at 10 p.m. The relatives claims are supported by the fact that on August 5 they had already concluded a contract with their lawyer. The lawyer started searching for Adam at this point was considered ‘disappeared’. Contradicting the claims of prosecution is the fact that according to the protocol, the first interrogation of Parchiev as a suspect was carried out on August 6 at 16:30, i.e. before the time of his official detainment. According to Parchiev, it was exactly between the actual and the official time of detainment that he was cruelly tortured and forced to slander himself.
The lawyer Laura Khumaryats did not document the infliction of torture on her defendant. The lawyer hired by the relatives, was denied access to his defendant until he had signed his confessions and all investigating measures had been carried out. However, a video recording of investigation on the site, renders well the traces of beatings.
In the court the witnesses Evloev and Gaparkhoev, who work as night watchmen in the Trade Center “The 21 century” and who were in the area of the building at night of June 21-22 2004 testified that there were no boyeviks in Trade center that night. Moreover, the victims – military servicemen A. Volkov and V. Manko - testified that they were subjected to fire from the building of the flour factory and cerial processing factory, located nearby (not from the building of Trade Center “21st century”).
Thus, the charges against Adam Parchiev are based on self-slander and confession of another alleged fighter Tsetchoev, who also claims that made it under duress.
On August 3, 2005 the Jury of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Ingushetia found Parchiev guilty of crimes stipulated by article 209 (banditism), but “deserving leniency” and sentenced Parchiev Adam to 8 years in prison.
3.3. The case of Magomed Khamkhoev
On 1 June, 2005, the Supreme Court of Ingushetia, chaired by Judge M.B. Imiev, found Magomed Khamkhoev guilty of participating in the illegal armed formation "Khalifat", which he joined on the invitation of B.Kh. Nalgiev, of aiding participants in illegal armed formations, and of exploiting an opportunity for unimpeded travel to bring weapons and members of an illegal armed formation through police checkpoints.
In addition, the Court found Khamkhoev guilty of participating in a terrorist act on 3 December, 2003. The terrorist act was perpetrated against police officers attached to the migration division of the Interior Ministry of Ingushetia. The organizers of the terrorist act assigned Khamkhoev the role of telephoning Nalgiev that day around 4 o'clock in the afternoon by mobile phone. Khamkhoev told them that a bus carrying police officers had left the IDP camp Satsita (a temporary living place). The bus was attacked; two police officers received light injuries as a result of the explosion.
The convict and his attorney claim that the matter was completely fabricated. The primary evidence against Khamkhoev was the confessions he made during preliminary investigations. In court Khamkhoev stated, however, that he made these confessions as a result of being beaten and tortured.
The Court found Khamkhoev guilty on Articles 205.2 paragraph A (terrorism), 208.2 (participation in illegal armed formations), and 222.2 (unlawful possession and transport of firearms and ammunition) of the criminal code of the RF.
In aggregate for the various crimes the Court sentenced Khamkhoev to 10 years of imprisonment in a high-security correctional facility.
Below, we briefly outline the arguments of the prosecution and defense.
In the opinion of investigators, Khamkhoev's participation in the organization of the explosion on 3 December is evidenced by the following:
1. Khamkhoev's confession during the preliminary investigation that he had committed the crimes.
2. The fact that on the day the bus was blown up Khamkhoev, who worked as a guard at Satsita IDP camp, suggested that his acquaintances A. Daskhoev, L. Akaeva, and Z. Magomaev travel to Nazran in his automobile. In the opinion of the prosecution, this was to avoid unnecessary casualties when the bus was attacked.
3. According to the prosecution, after arriving in Nazran, Khamkhoev used a pretext to telephone his colleague Bakaev, who was on duty in Khamkhoev's place at the Satsita IDP camp. Bakaev informed him of the attack on the bus. In order not to give himself away, Khamkhoev acted surprised and upset when relating this news to Daskhoev, after which, having dropped off Magomaeva, he returned to the scene.
4. At the scene, Khamkhoev approached investigators and asked if the second mine had exploded, although at that moment the existence of the second mine was still unknown. Khamkhoev did not show up for his next shift, afraid he had been found out. Below we try to disentangle this evidence:
In court Khamkhoev repudiated his previous testimony and declared that his admissions of guilt in his confession and during interrogation were untrue and had been made under duress.
According to Magomed Khamkhoev, he was detained not on 19 July, as the court asserted, but on 15 July. His relatives confirm this. The defendant states that it was in these very four days between the actual and official dates of his detention that he was cruelly tortured, and thus had been made to slander himself.
During his statement to the court, which was passed to Memorial by his mother, Khamkhoev asserted that his captors continued to beat and torture him for three months after his detention. The resulting bodily injuries, according to his own expression, included "a concussion of the left side of the head and of the kidney, broken lower right rib, and loss of hearing in the right ear".
The following is excerpted from M. Khamkhoev's statement to the court, which was given in the course of judicial investigation (and passed to Memorial by Khamkhoev's mother in May 2005).
"When they took the bag off my head, I was in a building with no windows. The interrogation and torture began. I don't know how much time passed, whether it was day or night. They asked me questions and tortured me, torture and questions which I couldn't answer... After some time I was again put into a car, and after about thirty minutes in the car they took the bag off my head and I saw a sign on which "MAGAS" was written. In Magas I was taken to the FSB building...I was in a room with four other people. Three of them were in masks, one without. The one sitting across from me slid a paper across to me and said it was a confession and I should sign it, and then everything would be fine. I read the paper, it was about crimes I didn't commit; also it said I had turned myself in. I refused to sign it and requested a lawyer. The man went out, after which began another endless round of video-taped interrogation. When I understood they wanted to humiliate [i.e., rape; -Memorial] me, I agreed to sign... I signed because I would rather die or confess to something I didn't do than to bear such a shame. That was at night. In the morning the one called the leader came in and said that I should recopy everything in my own hand, and address it to the head of the local branch of the FSB."
According to Khamkhoev, the investigator told him he had to sign the statement, and then he, the investigator, would try to help Khamkhoev and get the matter to the prosecutor as soon as possible. "If I didn't sign the confession, he wouldn't be able to help me and they would use me for the attack on 21-22 June, 2004, and could do obscene things to me — in other words, to take away my human dignity [i.e., to rape him; -Memorial].
"In the evening of that day they took me to the prosecutor. They explained to me on the way that it was better to keep silent, and to say that I had come voluntarily of my own will on that day. In the prosecutor's office they told me that in court, when the restraining measures were being decided, [I should say] that I was detained not on 15 July but on 19 July, 2004, in other words that I had turned myself in."
Further, in the words of the defendant, the investigator recommended a lawyer to Khamkhoev — Irina Ostaeva — a "good and inexpensive defender".
"When I explained to the lawyer what had happened, the things that had been done to me, and asked her to inform her acquaintances in the prosecutor's office and the MVD, she said she would. After four days, when the FSB investigator came, he began to scream and advised me not to talk about the beatings. He said he was helping me but I wasn't listening to him, that he could be taken off the case and the case would be given to another investigator, that they could add Articles 317, 105, and 209 of the criminal code to the charges and link me to the crimes of 21-22 June. The lawyer who was assigned to me was in their pocket, I knew it, since everything I'd asked her to tell my relatives had been handed over to the FSB investigator...
"After one and a half months I was taken to the stanitsa "Orzhdonikidzovskaya and was shown the scene of the terrorist act. They explained my role in it and what I should say, told me to remember this place, where I had supposedly taken Beslan Nalgiev and his companions. Then they showed me an address in Karabulak and explained that I should say I had been there several times. There was no one there for me to turn to for help; I had to do what they said. I decided that the matter would reach the court sooner or later, and that there I would tell everything as it was. At every interrogation by the investigator of prosecutor's office of Ingushetia, an investigator from the FSB and a lawyer, who were directing my testimony, were also present.
"I wrote a statement about the things that had been done to me to the General Prosecutor of Russia, Ustinov, about how the special services will do anything to obtain their result, and gave the statement to the administrator of my preliminary detainment facility. Alas, I received not only no answer, but also no official number for the outgoing document. The next day they took me out of solitary to another place, I don't know where, interrogated and tortured me for two days. And the torture was longer than the interrogations, I mean to say by this that it was not an interrogation, but merely an act of intimidation because of what I'd written. There I got a concussion on the right side of my head, injuries to the head and the body... When they took me back to solitary, I asked the administrator there to get me medical aid, since I had a terrible pain in the head, dizziness, and couldn't eat anything due to my injuries in the area of my stomach and kidneys. The next day they brought in a doctor. She looked over my injuries and I told her everything. But she just gave me two Citromon30 pills and said there was nothing serious. She didn't even check my blood pressure or heart, and she didn't say anything about a medical certificate or paper or mention the beatings in the registration book."
As stated in Khamkhoev's court sentence: "The reasons given in court by M.G. Khamkhoev for changing his testimony — his exposure to unlawful methods of coercion — were a subject of the court's investigation, and the court, having examined these reasons, finds them to be far-fetched and given with the goal of escaping responsibility for his crimes. Khamkhoev's interrogations were conducted according to the norms of procedural criminal law in the presence of a lawyer; moreover, during the entire preliminary investigation the defendant gave successive testimony regarding circumstances before and concurrent with the crimes, as well as the roles and levels of participation of each of the accomplices. The defendant provided details which could not be known except to those who took part in the aforementioned crimes. In addition, the contents of the defendant's testimony is in agreement with the information he provided voluntarily for the record when he gave himself up to authorities, and Khamkhoev confirmed the authenticity of this information when his testimony was checked on the scene in the pesence of a lawyer [who was offered by the investigator; -Memorial] and witnesses."
Umar Khayauri31, the lawyer invited by relatives, believes that the court treated unconscientiously the question of the admissibility of Khamkhoev's testimony from the preliminary investigation. As witnesses to the use of unlawful methods in Khamkhoev's interrogation, the individuals concerned were invited: investigator of the local branch of the FSB Valiev, head of the Sunzhensk police department Khamkhoev, and head of the investigative section of the local branch of the FSB of Ingushetia A.Kh. Khasaunov. According to the lawyer's testimony, investigator Valiev is present in all scenes filmed on video during the investigation of the Khamkhoev case. An admission that these men had acted illegally in the Khamkhoev case would be equivalent to an admission that their subordinates employ forbidden methods of coercion against defendants. Khamkhoev was never given a forensic medical examination.
2. The offer to take Daskhoev, Magomaeva, and Akaeva to Nazran in order to avoid unnecessary casualties
According to the prosecution, Khamkhoev knew about the act of terror which was being prepared and wanted to avoid unnecessary casualties. So he offered to take to Nazran from the Satsita IDP camp (located near the stanitsa Ordzhonikidzovskaya) his colleague Daskhoev, who worked for the Oktyabrskii police department of North Osetia, Magomaeva, a psychologist in the Satsita administration, and Akaeva, a secretary in the Satsita administration.
According to Khamkhoev, he went to Nazran that day in order to collect the left door to his automobile which an acquaintance had promised him — the door to his car had been totaled in a traffic accident. As he was on his way to Nazran, he as usual offered to give his colleagues Daskhoev, Magomaeva, and Akaeva a lift to the city. Daskhoev and Magomaeva agreed, while Akaeva, who had to stay on at work, went later by bus.
Khamkhoev's lawyer reminded the court that, according to Vainakh32 etiquette, a man traveling somewhere by car is obliged to offer a ride to his acquaintances, especially to his seniors and to women. Khamkhoev acted as a normal polite young man. In fact, it would have been suspicious had Khamkhoev not offered the ride on the day of the explosion.
3. The call to Bakaev and the return to the scene
Both Daskhoev, in his witness testimony, and the defendant himself assert that Khamkhoev never called anyone. In the contrary, it was Bakaev who called him, informed him of what had happened, and asked him to return — which Khamkhoev did.
4. Khamkhoev's inquiry at the scene about the unexploded second mine and his failure to appear for duty following the explosion
According to the prosecution, when Khamkhoev returned to the scene, he approached investigators and asked whether the second mine had exploded. This testimony was given by a witness and victim, A.N. Sadovnikov, who in turn cited Daskhoev. Apparently it was from Daskhoev that Sadovnikov learned that, when Daskhoev and Khamkhoev had arrived on the scene, the defendant asked police officers there whether the second mine had exploded. In court Daskhoev testified that he had had no such conversation with Sadovnikov. Moreover, none of the investigators on the scene could confirm that Khamkhoev had asked such a question. Nevertheless, the court found Sadovnikov's testimony to be authentic.
The testimony of A.M. Pugoev also figured in court. This testimony was given during the preliminary investigation. In his testimony, Pugoev says that Khamkhoev asked whether the second mine had exploded before that mine had been discovered. Seeing people's puzzled reaction, Khamkhoev became worried, quickly returned to his car, and left. In court, however, Pugoev changed his testimony and stated that he hadn't seen the car in which Khamkhoev arrived. At the same time, he confirmed that Khamkhoev had been at the scene and that he was interested in the number of explosions.
It is the opinion of the defense that there was no reliable evidence Khamkhoev had asked this question. Moreover, such a question could not serve as evidence of Khamkhoev's complicity in the explosion. If Khamkhoev were guilty, then it would be the greatest folly for him to approach investigators and ask whether the second mine had detonated. "If he was guilty and really did ask, he ought to be checked for insanity."
The evidence of Khamkhoev's participation in the illegal armed formation "Khalifat" and transportation of weapons rests on two lines of argument.
1. The boevik Beslan Nalgiev is Magomed Khamkhoev's cousin. According to the record of Khamkhoev's confession, he maintained relations with Nalgiev and was acquainted with the boeviks Gandarov and Geliskhanov (both were killed during a special operation to detain them in Ingushetia).
2. N. Gandarov, brother of the deceased boevik, testified that his brother Isa Gandarov had come to his home with Ruslan Geliskhanov and Beslan Nalgiev. At the wheel of the car was a man with a Kalashnikov machine gun equipped with a grenade launcher. Geliskhanov introduced the man as Magomed Khamkhoev. From what he said it was understood that Khamkhoev worked in the Interior Ministry and was helping them.
Gandarov confirmed his testimony in court, although he stated that the Magomed Khamkhoev about whom they had talked and the defendant were different people. The court found Gandarov's testimony to be insincere, given in order to mitigate Khamkhoev's situation. N. Gandarov is under investigation himself for participation in terrorist activity. According to his lawyer, Gandarov was also tortured to obtain his testimony.
Let us note that since Khamkhoev is one of the most common surnames in Ingushetia, and Magomed one of the most widely used given names, Ingushetia is thus full of namesakes of Magomed Khamkhoev.
Geliskhanov was killed 17 April, 2004. His wife, Z.N. Chemurzieva, testified in court that she did not know Magomed Khamkhoev. In the sentence it says that she signed the record of her interrogation without reading it. The prosecution asserts that Chemurzieva's testimony during the preliminary investigation was the following: Magomed Khamkhoev came to their house at the end of November 2003 with her husband, Gandarov, and Nalgiev. She understood from the conversation that they were close friends. In court, however, Chemuzieva said she had not given such testimony. In the opinion of the defense, Khamkhoev's visit to Geliskhanov is unestablished, and in court not a single witness confirmed the connection between Khamkhoev and the group of Nalgiev and Geliskhanov. In addition, the close familial connection with Nalgiev does not exclude contact between the boevik and the defendant; however, this does not mean they were involved in joint terrorist activity. In general, it is strange to accuse a man of participating in an illegal armed formation based on his acquaintance with a someone from the formation.
Khamkhoev himself asserts that, while Beslan Nalgiev is in fact his relative, he did not maintain relations with him. The last time Khamkhoev had seen Nalgiev was in November 2003.
The only unregistered firearm found with Khamkhoev was a grenade which he kept at home and voluntarily surrendered to authorities. The prosecution did not present any evidence that Khamkhoev had transported weapons for boeviks through checkpoints.
Magomed Khamkhoev's lawyer believes that the evidence against his client is unsound and is based on self-incrimination, testimony of the defendant made from dictation during the confession and interrogation, and the fantasies of investigators.
It is unclear why Magomed Khamkhoev in particular ended up in the dock. From the activities of the terrorist underground in Ingushetia, especially the events of 21-22 June, it is obvious that the terrorists had accomplices within the law-enforcement agencies — the boeviks were too well informed about the locations of their objectives and how to approach them. It is possible that for this reason investigators felt they had to imprison a police officer. The fact that Khamkhoev was a relative of the known boevik Nalgiev, and had inevitably crossed paths with him due to family connections, could also have been a factor in choosing Khamkhoev as a suspect.