It has been announced that, beginning with the November 15, the trial of Salman Raduev, the titular leader of a Chechen raid on the town of Kizlyar in Dagestan in January of 1996, which cost forty-three lives, will begin in the city of Makhachkala. Three other Chechen fighters who participated in the raid are to be tried together with him. Raduev was arrested in March of 2000 and has since that time been kept in Lefortovo Prison in Moscow. The case against him is said to run to more than 100 volumes. Many hundreds of witnesses will be called to testify at the trial. “The group of prosecutors will be headed personally by the Procurator General [of Russia] Vladimir Ustinov” (Lenta.ru and Reuters, November 8).
If the trial of Raduev promises to turn into a public spectacle, the secret, closed trial of five residents of Karachaevo-Cherkessia charged with preparing the explosions of large apartment complexes in Moscow and Volgodonsk in September of 1999 was, by contrast, quietly reported to be nearing its conclusion. The trial, closed to the press, which is being conducted on the territory of a penal colony near the city of Stavropol in southern Russia, has entered its fifth month (RIA Novosti, November 9).