Moscow City Court: Dubrovka terror attack co-organizer Zakayev arrested

Moscow judiciary have confirmed the arrest of a new defendant in the 2002 siege of the Dubrovka theatrical center in Moscow, Khasan Zakayev.

Moscow judiciary have confirmed the arrest of a new defendant in the 2002 siege of the Dubrovka theatrical center in Moscow, Khasan Zakayev.

A warrant for the arrest of Zakayev took effect in the middle of November, a source in the Moscow City Court told Interfax. The hearings are being held in camera as the defendants are being tried on the counts of terrorism.

According to the Moscow Presnensky District Court, the period of the defendant's arrest has been extended until February 2015.

"Zakayev has been formally indicted on three counts: perpetration of a terror attack, membership in a criminal group and illegal storing of a weapon," a source familiar with the situation told Interfax.

Zakayev refused to plead guilty.

The newspaper Kommersant recalled on Wednesday its earlier report which said the arrest of a 41-year-old native of Chechnya, Khasan Zakayev, a suspected co-organizer of the Dubrovka terror attack in October 2002, had caused the re-opening of the criminal investigation.

More than 900 people were taken hostage during the Nord-Ost musical performance at the Dubrovka theatrical center on October 22, 2002. They were held captive for three days. The theater building was stormed in the morning of October 26. All terrorists were killed in the police operation. One hundred and thirty hostages died.

The Moscow City Court sentenced six accomplices of the terrorists from 8.5 to 22 years in prison in 2003-2007.

Yet none of the organizers was captured. Shamil Basayev was killed in the explosion of a truck carrying weapons and ammunition in Ingushetia on July 10, 2006. Khasan Zakayev and Gerihan Dudayev used fake ids and escaped from the police for twelve years.

Their whereabouts were unknown in 2007, and the Moscow prosecution service suspended the criminal inquiry into the Dubrovka theater siege.

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