Assassination Attempt Against A Chechen Prevented in Istanbul
Turkish media sources have reported that a Chechen man was handed over to police by guards of Shamsuddin Batukayev, former head of the Shari’a Courts in the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
According to the information, a 26 year old Chechen man, Barhram Batumaev, visited Shamsuddin Batukayev at his flat in Istanbul on October 8. At one point Batumaev went to the restroom, but stayed in it for so long that Batukaev’s guards became suspicious. When he came out, the guards saw a gun on his waist. After capturing him, the guards found the gun had been equipped with a silencer. They questioned him for a day and Batumaev confessed that he was hired by Uvais Akhmadov, who lives in Istanbul’s Basaksehir district. On the morning of October 10, Batukayev’s guards handed over the alleged killer to the Turkish police. During the questioning of Batumaev, he did not admit that he is an assassin. However, he was detained, because Turkish police found a copy of the layout of Batukaev’s apartment at a hotel in Zeytinburnu where the suspect was staying. Turkish police confirmed that the gun found on Batumaev is a 9mm Russian gun, and their criminal investigation into the weapon is still in progress. At the same time, Prosecutor Mehmet Aydin interrogated Shamsuddin Batukayev’s two guards at the Istanbul Bakirkoy Courthouse. They claim that the assassin was hired by Uvais Akhmadov and two other Chechen men who are close to Akhmadov. After the questioning, Batukayev’s guards were released. Immediately after, Uvais Akhmadov and the two Chechen men were arrested by the police and taken to the Istanbul Gayrettepe Police Headquarters. All three Chechens denied the allegations. At the moment their interrogation is still ongoing, however Waynakh Online’s sources reported that the prosecutor gave four extra days for the Turkish police to continue their questioning.
During the day, Shamsuddin Batukayev organized a press-conference at a hotel in Istanbul’s Fatih district. “The person came to our flat. He asked to speak with me. He sat and we had a conversation. During the conversation, he talked about our common friends to create confidence. We talked about current issues. My wife served tea. I went to another room with him to talk one on one. He explained to me that I could return to Chechnya and he could help me with official issues. During our conversation, he was asking suspicious questions. His situation took my attention. However, then I got a phone call and went out of the room. I told my son that I had to leave, and told him to explain this to our guest. Then he told that he would return in the evening to continue our conversation. After that our two friends caught him and questioned him, I was unaware of it, but they found a gun on him. He confessed that his real target was Vakha Umarov, brother of Dokka Umarov. We then handed him over to the Turkish police. Despite all the negative situations, I would like to express my gratefulness to the Turkish government because they let us live here. We just want to live in a humane manner and with security,” said Batukayev.
Uvais Akhmadov is a Chechen asylum seeker who has lived in Istanbul’s Basaksehir district for a long time. He is the brother of notorious Chechen gangsters Ramzan and Daud Akhmadov, who specialized in kidnapping and murder after the first Russian-Chechen war. He was the editor of a Chechen website, “Caucasus News“, which has not been operating for sometime. In 2007, he was the deputy representative of Dokka Umarov’s so-called “Caucasus Emirate” for its operational work abroad. However, at the end of 2007, he switched sides and became the ally of Akhmed Zakayev. His name was also on the agenda in another assassination attempt against a Georgian politician. At the end of 2007, the opponents of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has distributed in the British mass media an audio tape, on which is recorded a conversation between two people about the physical elimination of one of the candidates for the presidency of Georgia, Arkadi (Badri) Patarkatsishvili. According to Patarkatsishvili, Uvais Akhmadov had been hired as the hitman. It is claimed that Uvais Akhmadov secretly recorded his conversation with the “orderer” of the murder and then sold the tape to Patarkatsashvili. Eliso Kiladze, the leader of Georgian social movement “My Georgia”, had earlier claimed that in fact Uvais Akhmadov is a Russian intelligence agent and acts in the interest of the Russian FSB. There are some other claims that in 2010, Uvais Akhmadov received 500 thousand Euros from Ramzan Kadyrov to organize murders abroad of people who are against the Russian occupation in the Chechen territory.
Shamsuddin Batukayev is the former head of the Shari’a Courts in the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria during a four years terme after the end of first Russian-Chechen war.He became famous during Chechen Republic President Aslan Maskhadov’s rule after arranging public executions for those who violated the Sharia law, which came as a shock to Maskhadov, who felt compelled to ban executions and unceremoniously strip Batukaev of his position. In Chechnya, Batukyev was known for his knowledge of the Sharia law and his unflinching support for rebuilding Chechnya as a purely Islamic society inspired by Salafi views. He has lived in Turkey as an asylum seeker since 2006. He was arrested by Turkish police in 2010 and it was demanded that he leave the country, but due to pressure from human rights organizations he was released. There were some allegations that he was agreeing to return to the Russian occupied Chechnya, but he changed his mind after plane tickets were sent to him.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco