The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) newspaper The National quoted an anonymous senior official for the Dubai Police Criminal Investigations Department as saying that the gold-plated gun used to assassinate the former Vostok special operations battalion commander on March 28 is believed to have been smuggled into Dubai under a diplomatic visa.
The source told the newspaper that the Makarov PM 9mm gun is believed to have been smuggled inside the luggage of a Russian official on a diplomatic trip to Dubai that was not checked by customs staff due to the officials diplomatic status. “When a diplomat comes in the country, do you search him?” the source said. “Of course not, and in this case this is how they smuggled the gun into the country.”
Meanwhile, the chief of the Dubai police, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, stood by his claims that Adam Delimkhanov, who is Ramzan Kadyrov’s cousin, a member of Russia’s Statue Duma and a former deputy prime minister of Chechnya, masterminded Yamadaev’s assassination.
According to The National, Lieutenant General Tamim said during a television interview on April 9 that he had “strong and solid” evidence that proved the involvement of the five others suspects in the case and, in the newspaper’s words, that also “indicated” the gun used to kill Yamadaev was brought into Dubai through diplomatic links. Tamim called on Russian officials to hand over the suspects to the Dubai police – although, as The National noted, the Russian government previously said it would not hand over Delimkhanov to Dubai.
“Delimkhanov is officially wanted by Interpol and we will do our best to get him,” Tamim was quoted as saying. “Today he is in power but tomorrow he will be out of it and the request for his arrest will still be listed. He can end this situation by turning himself in to the Russian authorities for investigation.” Tamim said the police had been able to get confessions from the Iranian and Tajik suspects being held in connection with the murder, and that they had provided more than just “ordinary confessions.” He added: “The Russians are capable of controlling the situation. It’s completely unacceptable to leave the Chechen gangsters to carry on their crimes in more than one country and wage conflict on someone else’s country.”
Earlier, Tamim rejected the claim by Andrei Lugovoi, the Russian State Duma deputy wanted by British authorities in connection with the radioactive poisoning murder of former Russian special services officer Aleksandr Litvinenko, that the Dubai police was playing “political games” in seeking Delimkhanov’s extradition (North Caucasus Weekly, April 10). “We would not accuse anyone of their involvement in the case unless we had concrete and substantial evidence linking all those accused to the crime,” The National on April 8 quoted the Dubai police chief as saying. “Otherwise, we would not have released details of the case and announced the involvement of a specific individual and place him on our wanted list.” Tamin also responded to Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s denunciation of the Dubai police’s charges against Delimkhanov, saying: “If the Chechen president doubts our investigation results then I suggest that an international team of investigators come and examine the findings.”
Gulfnews.com reported on April 10 that in the same television interview, Tamim repeated his insistence that Yamadaev died immediately at the scene of the attack and was not alive, as some media and relatives of Yamadaev have claimed. He also denied that Yamadaev had earlier informed the Dubai police that he was being watched or asked for police protection. “He arranged for his own security and we only knew about the clashes and conflicts he was involved in from the Russian media following his assassination,” the website quoted Tamim as saying.
According to Gulfnews.com, new information revealed that Yamadaev was shot with two bullets, the first of which missed him while the second hit him in the back of the neck, killing him instantly. In addition, one of Yamadaev’s two Arab bodyguards was struck in the head with the butt of a gun during the attack. After the shooting, the assassin ran out of the parking lot carrying a luggage, threw his black gloves on the side road and got rid of the bag with the gun, after which he went to the beach, where he took off his shirt and then got into a waiting car. The assassin left Dubai six hours after the crime, the website reported.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on April 10 that Russia is still waiting for information from the UAE on the killing of Sulim Yamadaev, RIA Novosti reported. Speaking to reporters on a flight from Turkmenistan to Moscow, Lavrov said Russia is waiting to receive “any kind of official report” on the murder from the UAE. “We are counting on our partners in the Emirates do this quickly,” Lavrov said. “The official channel for such cases is the embassy. However, nothing had been received as of the day I left Moscow [Thursday, April 9].”