Staunton, August 6 – At the trial of the Ingush Seven in Essentuki, Khasan Katsiyev, a former Ingush interior ministry official, testified that the authorities deployed officers dressed in civilian clothes into the crowd on the night of March 27, 2019, and urged the demonstrators to attack the police, something those now accused of doing that tried to counter.
He said he was unaware that the authorities planned to do that but with his own eyes recognized two of his colleagues from the security services in civilian clothes among the demonstrators and heard them calling for violence (fortanga.org/2021/08/svidetel-soobshhil-o-provokacziyah-silovikov-na-mitinge-v-magase/).
Katsiyev also said that he had heard those now accused of causing the clashes between the demonstrators and the police attempt to dissuade young people from engaging in violence. Those now known as the Ingush Seven did everything they could to prevent conflicts, exactly the opposite of what prosecutors are now insisting, their defense attorneys said.
The defense also pointed out that prosecutors had suppressed evidence they had gathered from government investigators which showed that none of the speeches any of the Ingush Seven had incited violence but rather the reverse. The lawyers insisted that it be included in the record and viewed as further indication that the charges against the Seven are without foundation.
And they further argued that what prosecutors had done in this case was yet another instance of the state’s violation of Russian judicial system rules in this case and that, at a minimum, administrative charges should be lodged against those investigators and prosecutors involved.
Meanwhile, Magomed Khamkhoyev, another Ingush activist who was charged with inciting demonstrators to violence during the March 2019 protests, was released after 28 months of pre-trial confinement and post-trial incarceration. He said that the case against him and the Seven was completely fabricated (fortanga.org/2021/08/magomed-hamhoev-osvobozhden-posle-sroka-po-mitingovomu-delu/).
“In Russia, there are laws,” Khamkhoyev said; “but they are written so that the powers that be can work around them.” His lawyers say they are filing a new appeal in his case given that one appeals court to which they had turned earlier had completely ignored their arguments. It is possible that his case will ultimately be taken up in Strasbourg.