RealNews

Chechen jailed for theatre siege tip-offs

A key accomplice to the Chechen gunmen who held 800 Russians hostage in a Moscow theatre last October was jailed yesterday for eight and a half years for tipping off the terrorists about police activity during the siege. Zaurbek Talkhigov, a young meat packer whose parents live in Grozny, the Chechen capital, was convicted as an accessory to hostage-taking and terrorism. He denied the charge and plans to appeal. The trial’s fairness came into question, however, after the judge ordered that tapes of the telephone conversations be erased. It remains unclear why. Oleg Pankratov, defending, said the court had only heard one of the eight phone recordings, and that written explanations had been destroyed by the security services. Full Story

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