Staunton, August 11 – A lawyer for the Ingush Seven who are on trial in Essentuki for organizing an extremist group and inciting violence against the police in March 2019 says that the defense will call for former republic leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, former head of the republic government Zyalimkhan Yevloyev, and other former officials to testify.
Kaloy Akhilgov says their testimony is required given that other witnesses have mentioned their role in the events of March 2019. Only their appearance can confirm or undercut testimony already given, he says (fortanga.org/2021/08/eks-glavu-ingushetii-yunus-beka-evkurova-vyzvali-v-sud-po-mitingovomu-delu/ and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/366931/).
Despite the reasonableness of Akhilgov’s argument, it is very unlikely that the Russian court will agree to summon any of these officials and almost certainly not Yevkurov whose appearance would likely spark new protests given his role in signing the land deal with Chechnya that led to the demonstrations of 2018-2020.
At the same session of the court, witnesses provided corroborating evidence on the incidence of Malsag Uzhakhov; and a psychologist-linguist said that she had not found evidence of any extremism in the words of Zarifa Sautiyeva, one of the Ingush Seven (fortanga.org/2021/08/pokazaniya-svidetelya-podtverdili-nevinovnost-malsaga-uzhahova/).
Meanwhile, there were two other developments on the legal front in Ingushetia. In the first, lawyers for Mufti Isa Khakhoyev said they are appealing to the European Human Rights Court over the fine the government imposed on their client (fortanga.org/2021/08/zhaloba-na-shtraf-muftiyu-ise-hamhoevu-napravlena-v-evropejskij-sud/).
And in the second, a sign that demonstrations for the government will be tolerated when protests against them won’t, the Ingush authorities declared that a flashmob by students at Ingush State University in support of Vladimir Putin that took place last February was completely legal despite its apparent violation of pandemic rules (fortanga.org/2021/08/policziya-nazvala-zakonnym-fleshmob-v-podderzhku-putina-v-magase/).