Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 45

On December 12, Russian Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov delivered a three-hour summing-up speech at the building of the Dagestan Supreme Court in Makhachkala in which he asserted “that the prosecution had proved all the points of the indictment and that the accused [Salman] Raduev had infringed not only the Criminal Code but also the Koran.” Ustinov demanded a life sentence for Raduev (Kommersant, December 13). The highly publicized trial of Raduev and of three co-defendants, charged with conducting a raid on the Dagestani settlements of Kizlyar and Pervomaiskoe in January of 1996, which resulted in the deaths of 78 persons, has moved along at a remarkably swift pace. It began on November 15, and the sentence in the case is to be announced on December 25 or 26 ( and Itar-Tass, December 14). Justice Minister Yury Chaika in public comments noted that “life imprisonment” would be an appropriate punishment for Raduev. Russia, he stressed, must “keep its word” to the Council of Europe and not invoke the death penalty. The Council of Europe requires that its member-states not sentence their citizens to death (, December 10).