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Moscow: Suspects are brought before the court

Moscow: Suspects are brought before the court

After the bloody attack on a concert hall, Russian investigators quickly presented four suspects. They have to sit in glass cages with badly damaged faces.

The four suspected perpetrators of the latest terrorist attack near Moscow were brought before the judge with severe facial injuries. The defendants were brought to the Basmanny Court in the Russian capital on Sunday by masked security forces and placed in glass cages with clearly visible bruises, swelling, abrasions and lacerations. One of them was apparently unable to walk and was strapped into a hospital chair with his eyes closed. Another had an unprofessional-looking bandage on his right ear.

Before the court hearing, video footage was circulated online showing that the arrested men were tortured and that one of them even had his ear cut off. It was not initially possible to independently verify whether the recordings were authentic.

The actual hearing took place behind closed doors, as the Russian state agency Tass reported. The terrorist suspect in the hospital chair who is said to have filmed the attack had “difficulty speaking”. The investigative committee accuses him and his three alleged accomplices of carrying out a deadly terrorist attack together.

Attack in Russia: Arrest warrants issued against suspected terrorists

A total of eleven arrests were made after the attack in an event center near Moscow on Friday, in which 137 people were killed and, according to new information from the health authorities, 182 others were injured. Four of the suspects are considered to be the actual shooters – they are the ones who have now been brought before the judge. According to Tass, the arrest warrants were issued on Sunday evening. The four men were arrested at the weekend in the Russian border region of Bryansk and taken to Moscow.

Human rights activists repeatedly report humiliation, mistreatment and brutal torture methods in the Russian penal system. Publicly staged show trials therefore serve as a demonstration of state power and deterrence.

The terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) has publicly claimed responsibility for the attack. Nevertheless, Russia’s leadership wants to see Ukraine become involved, against which Russia has been waging a war of aggression for more than two years. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the perpetrators wanted to flee to Ukraine, but he did not provide any evidence of this. Kiev denies any involvement in the crime.

Russian rock band Piknik remembers the victims of the terrorist attack

Meanwhile, Russia marked a national day of mourning on Sunday. Members of the popular rock band Piknik, which was scheduled to perform at Crocus City Hall on Friday, laid flowers for the victims in front of the concert hall that evening. After a minute’s silence, they expressed their condolences to the bereaved families. “This atrocity is a senseless, unimaginable cruelty,” bandleader Edmund Schkljarski was quoted as saying by Tass. According to the band, one of their assistants is among those who died.

Visibly shaken residents of the capital region continued to flock to Crocus City Hall on Sunday. They placed flowers and toys on the fence in front of the destroyed building in memory of the victims – the area resembled a sea of ​​flowers. Instead of advertising, illuminated boards in the Russian capital flickered with a photo of a candle and below it the inscription: “We mourn. March 22, 2024.” The flag flew at half-mast over the Kremlin.

Putin speaks of a trail to Ukraine

In a speech broadcast on state television on Saturday afternoon, President Putin spoke of an alleged lead to Ukraine. Referring to the arrested suspects, he said: “They tried to hide and moved towards Ukraine, where a window had been prepared for them to cross the border.” Ukrainian military intelligence countered this by pointing out that the border had long been mined. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected any involvement of his country in the attack.

In light of the accusations from Moscow, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called the Kremlin leader a “pathological liar” on Sunday. Putin is desperately trying to link Ukraine to the attack, even if there is no evidence, Kuleba wrote on Sunday on the X platform (formerly Twitter). “Don’t let Putin and his henchmen mislead you,” he appealed. Their only goal is to motivate more Russians to die in the senseless and criminal war against Ukraine. In addition, this is intended to fuel further hatred against other countries, especially the entire West.

IS claims responsibility for attack

The IS propaganda channel Amak published a video supposedly showing the attackers at the site of the attack as alleged evidence of being responsible for the attack. A picture of the alleged assassins with their faces unrecognizable was also shown. The fighters, armed with assault rifles, pistols and explosive devices, dealt a “severe blow” to Russia, the letter said. The attack targeted “thousands of Christians in a music hall.” Terrorism experts rated the letter as credible.

ISIS fights followers of Christianity and regards them as infidels. The Islamists have also had Moscow’s politics on their radar for several years. In previous speeches, the terrorist group accused Russia of shedding Muslim blood. In Afghanistan in particular, the legacy of the Soviet intervention 45 years ago still weighs heavily.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said it was credible that the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISPK) group, known as an IS offshoot, was responsible for the attack. This is currently the greatest danger for Germany, said Faeser to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. The ISPK terrorist group has its origins in Afghanistan. Khorasan represents a historical region in Central Asia that included parts of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan as well as Iran.

Source: Stern

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