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Thu 23 Dec 2010 09:24 AM

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Dubai court cuts sentences in JBR Chechen murder case

Jail time slashed to three years for two men guilty of role in Dubai killing of Sulim Yamadayev

Dubai court cuts sentences in JBR Chechen murder case
Sulim Yamadayev was murdered in 2009 in Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai

Dubai court on Wednesday reduced to three years the life sentences handed to
two men for their role in the assassination of Sulim Yamadayev, a prominent foe
of the Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Makhsood Jan Asmatov of Tajikistan and Iranian Mehdi
Taqi Dahuria were convicted in April of aiding and abetting the murder, but an
appeal court reduced the penalty to three years in jail, according to a ruling
read in court.

The new ruling was made after Dahuria's lawyer
produced a document in which Yamadayev's family waived their rights to seek
criminal retribution and financial compensation.

Yamadayev, one of Kadyrov's top commanders until he
fled Chechnya in 2008, was shot last year in the car park of luxury apartment
block Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai with a gold-coloured Russian handgun.

Dahuria was convicted of monitoring Yamadayev in Dubai
and providing his address and the murder weapon to the assassins. Prosecutors
said Asmatov also kept tabs on Yamadayev.

Dubai police have accused a close adviser to Kadyrov,
former deputy prime minister Adam Delimkhanov, of masterminding the
assassination. Delimkhanov has denied involvement.

Russia fought two wars in the 1990s against Chechen
separatists before rebels from the Kadyrov clan switched sides and were allowed
to run the local government.

Yamadayev was the fifth Chechen living abroad to be
killed in the space of six months.

Four other suspects are wanted by Dubai police,
including Delimkhanov, now a pro-Kremlin member of parliament. Russia's
constitution bans the extradition of nationals for crimes committed abroad.