Letter to the Lithuanian President from Gataevs
“Angel of Grozny” nicknamed Khadizhat Gataeva and her husband Malik Gataev who are still remain in custody in Finland, send a letter to Lithuanian top politicians about the pressure on their family in Lithuania.
To: Mrs.Dalia Gribauskaite
President of the Lithuanian Republic
Speaker of the Seym of the Lithuanian Republic
Prime Minister of the Lithuanian Republic
We, Malik and Khadizhat Gataevs, are forced to turn to you in connection with new provocations against our family that are now unfolding in Kaunas.
At present, we are not pleading for ourselves. Our appeal against the previous sentence of Kaunas District Court against us has already been considered by the Supreme Court of Lithuania. Its decision will be announced on 16 March 2010. We hope that the Lithuanian judicial system will prove its impartiality at least at this stage. We are confident that if our case had been heard without prejudice during previous stages of the trial, we would have been acquitted long ago. We are waiting for the decision on our fate in prison in Finland, a country that has proved to be the only place where we can hope for justice.
The fate of our children is our main concern now. We have learned that on 3 March 2010 one of our former foster children, Ali Lataev, and Khadizhat’s own son Murad Utsaev were detained in Kaunas. We are no longer surprised at the cunning creativity of those who wish to divert attention from the State Security Department which helped to fabricate a criminal case of so-called family despotism and money extortion against us. We stopped believing in coincidences long time ago.
The Kaunas Prosecutors’ office has opened a new criminal case against our foster children just before the announcement of the decision of the Supreme Court of Lithuania in relation to our appeal of our own conviction. It has coincided also with the decision of Finnish authorities on the issue of granting us the status of refugees. Once again, efforts are underway to divert public attention from the role of the State Security Department in the Gataev case.
Kaunas prosecutors, representative of the State Security Department, and some unscrupulous journalists have repeatedly tried to slander and intimidate many of our Lithuanian friends and members of our family. As a result, several of our adult foster children have been forced to seek asylum in other European countries.
We are also drawing your attention, Mrs. President, to the fact that it is again minor children who have fallen victims of these cynical machinations. On 3 March 2010, the Kaunas Criminal Police conducted a search in our house in Karmelava. What happened yesterday can be hardly regarded as a normal procedural measure – it was more like a raid aimed at intimidation. Agents of the Criminal Police, conducting the search, subjected our three underage children – now under the guardianship of Julia Gataeva – to severe stress.
Why was it necessary to demonstrate their guns? The children have not yet recovered from the deep shock caused by our arrest, imprisonment and forced escape to another country. And before that they had been deeply traumatized by the war in Chechnya with its shelling, bombing and death of their loved ones. Yesterday their small world was once again smashed by armed people. It goes without saying that no arms stock or other prohibited items were found in our house during the search. It could not be there. Any weapon found in our house would have to be planted there.
During the court process against us, Prosecutor Nomeda Oshkutite tried very hard to force our foster children to give false testimonies against us. Some of these “witnesses” are still conscience-stricken. They later started telling the truth. That is why panicky script-writers from among prosecutors and the State Security Department have hastily concocted another criminal case. They need to keep their face and esprit de corps clean, even if their veil of purity is all eaten up by moths of provocations.
Also, the new criminal case and subsequent arrests and police raid in our house can by no means be considered a coincidence, following several publications in various European and Russian media outlets about the attempt of the Kaunas branch of Lithuanian State Security Department to recruit me, Malik Gataev, in September 2008.
I, Malik Gataev, hereby confirm the fact of attempted recruitment by the State Security Department in September 2008 and my immediate, firm refusal to commit any subversive or other criminal acts in Russia, no matter how “useful for the common cause” they might have seemed to the State Security Department.
Dear Mrs. President, we appeal to you not only because we are hoping that you will help protect our violated rights. Lithuania is not an alien country to us. We have raised some of our children in Lithuania, and they are still growing there. We are grateful to many Lithuanians for their help, warmth and sincere involvement into the fate of these young citizens of Chechnya. Therefore, we consider it our duty to warn you and the citizens of Lithuania that the lack of control, which the State Security Department currently enjoys, and in turn the control the Security Department currently exercises over the bodies of state judiciary system, is not just a problem of stained credibility of your country in the face of her partners in the common European house. It is ultimately a security threat and a challenge to the constitutional system of Lithuania.