Staunton, January 13 – The authorities in Magas and Moscow decided to hold the trial of the Ingush Seven not in Ingushetia where their supporters would certainly have mobilized large protests against this action but in the Stavropol Kray city of Essentuki in the hopes that few Ingush would be willing and able to travel there.
But despite that calculation, “more than 40 residents from various districts of Ingushetia” today came to that Russian city to protest the trial and show their support for their leaders who are accused of organizing an extremist group and attacking siloviki in the March 2019 protests (fortanga.org/2021/01/zhiteli-ingushetii-sobralis-u-suda-podderzhat-podsudimyh-po-mitingovomu-delu/).
Dzhabrail Kuriyev, one of the defense lawyers, says that “it is very important that many people came to support our heroes,” spending “more than five hours” on the road to come and then return. We told them, he says, that they shouldn’t come as they wouldn’t be admitted to the courtroom, but their supporters arrived anyway.
Today the court heard from four prosecution witnesses; but whatever was the intention of those who selected them, all four, defense lawyers say, provided evidence that exonerates the seven from the charges against them, thus continuing what has been the unintended consequence of this “legal” action.
Meanwhile, the father, mother and older sister of the Timurziyev brothers who were killed in Grozny at the end of December after attacking a Chechen policeman were released from detention there and travelled to Ingushetia (fortanga.org/2021/01/predstavitel-ingushskogo-tejpa-rasskazal-ob-usloviyah-soderzhaniya-zaderzhannyh-timurzievyh/).
Despite or perhaps because they became the focus of the dispute between Chechen and Ingush clans, the three say they were treated relatively well during their 15-day detention. That report may put an end to what threatened to be a new upsurge of tensions between the two Vaynakh republics over this case.