Shohista Karimova. Photo courtesy of Fontanka.ru
Court Asked to Sentence Some Defendants in Petersburg Subway Bombing Case to Life in Prison
November 18, 2019
The prosecutor has asked the court to sentence some of the defendants in the 2017 Petersburg subway bombing case to life in prison, our correspondent has reported from the courtroom.
The prosecutor [Nadezhda Tikhonova] asked the court to sentence Akram Azimov, Abror Azimov, Ibrahimjon Ermatov, and Muhamadusup Ermatov to life imprisonment in a high-security penal colony and fines of one million rubles [approximately 14,000 euros] each. She asked the court to sentence Sodik Ortikov to 28 years in a maximum-security penal colony and a fine of one million rubles. She requested sentences of 27 years in a maxium-security penal colony and fines of one million rubles each for Mahamadusuf Mirzaalimov, Azamjon Mahmudov, Seifulla Hakimov, Bahrom Ergashev, and Dilmurod Muidinov.
Defendant Shohista Karimova had a nervous breakdown during the hearing, which led to a thirty-minute recess. After the recess, Karimova refused to return to the courtroom, screaming and resisting attempts to make her move. Consequently, the hearing was postponed until tomorrow.
Convening in Petersburg, the Moscow District Military Court began hearing the case on April 2, 2019. All the defendants pleaded not guilty, and four of them said they had been brutally tortured. On April 17, 2017, an explosion occurred on a subway train traveling between the stations Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institut. Sixteen people were killed, and another fifty [sic] people were injured.
Today, the state prosecutor announced her wishes in the Petersburg subway bombing case: life imprisonment for four of the defendants (the Azimov brothers and the Ermatov brothers), and between 27 and 28 years in prison for all the other defendants, except Shohista Karimova. (The prosecutor will request a sentence for her tomorrow.)
And she asked that all the defendants be fined a million rubles each.
Most likely, the sentences handed down by the court will not differ greatly from the prosecution’s wishes. (Maybe the more uproar there is now, the greater the difference will be.)
Most likely, the verdict will be upheld on appeal.
Most likely, someday this case (like hundreds of others) will be reviewed, and the convicted defendants exonerated.
I’d like to live to see the day when that happens. And for the accused and their loved ones to live to see it, too.
Translated by the Russian Reader. Please read my previous posts on the terrorist attack, the case against its alleged planners, its roots in the Islamophobia that has infected Russia under Putin, and the shocking lack of local and international solidarity with the thirteen defendants in the case:
- “Terrorism in Petersburg: Then and Now,” 4 April 2017
- “Instant Pariahs, or, Fontanka Declares Jihad on Everyone Who Looks Funny,” 5 April 2017
- “A Rainbow May Day in Petersburg vs. the Dead in Chechnya,” 1 May 2017
- “The Strange Investigation of a Strange Terrorist Attack,” 12 February 2018
- “Framed?” 7 April 2019
- “My Generation,” 6 May 2019
- “Yana Teplitskaya: Can Torture Be Endured?” 3 June 2019
- “They Are Who They Are,” 10 June 2019
- “3 April 2017 (website),” 26 June 2019
- “Ibrahimjon Ermatov: ‘The FSB Let the Terrorist Slip, and a Terrible Tragedy Happened,'” 3 November 2019