Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 19

The trial of the sole survivor of the September 2004 attack on the school in Beslan, North Ossetia, Nur-Pashi Kulaev, got underway in the North Ossetian capital of Vladikavkaz on May 17, but was suspended by the judge until May 19 after distraught relatives of the victims disrupted the proceedings, demanding that officials who allowed the group of 32 rebels to reach the school be put in the dock alongside Kulaev.

“All the guilt is being put on Kulaev, as the only terrorist left alive,” Reuters quoted Susanna Dudieva, who lost her son in the tragedy and now heads the “Beslan mothers” group, as saying. “There was no mention of the officials. You could see this in the case today, we will not swallow lies.” Meanwhile, Aleksandr Torshin, who heads the parliamentary commission investigating the Beslan tragedy, said it is possible that some of the terrorists who took part in the attack may have escaped, reported on May 16. “I have a circumstantial basis to believe that some of the terrorists may have left,” Torshin told Profil magazine. “Currently, I do not possess 100-percent proof of this, but there is evidence which it so far has not been possible to verify but which also cannot be ignored.” Kulaev, he noted, “very easily left the school building.”