29 Mar 2024 20:10

Court arrests 9th man in investigation into concert hall terrorist attack

MOSCOW. March 29 (Interfax) - Moscow's Basmanny District Court has granted investigators' motion to arrest Nazrimad Lutfulloi, the ninth suspect in the criminal case opened following the terror attack on the Moscow region's Crocus City Hall music venue, a court representative told Interfax.

"The judge has selected a measure of restraint in the form of custody until May 22, 2024 for Lutfulloi," a court official said on Friday.

At the request of the investigator, the court hearing was closed to the public in order to maintain the secrecy of the investigation and the security of parties to the case.

According to information stated in court, Lutfulloi, a 24-year-old man born in Tajikistan with a college degree, was unemployed. He said he permanently resides in his home country, being duly registered there as resident, and recently stayed in a hostel near the Shchyolkovskaya subway station in Moscow.

Lutfulloi has been indicted for committing a terrorist attack causing people's deaths as part of an organized group.

Prior to this, the Russian Investigative Committee said on Thursday that another suspect in the case, a man "who participated in a scheme for financing terrorists," had been detained.

Information taken from the database of Moscow's courts suggests that a man with similar personal details was given a 15-day administrative arrest for petty hooliganism by Moscow's Preobrazhensky District Court on March 25.

Police apprehended Lutfulloi in a public area at 7 p.m. on March 23 "while checking people for possible involvement in the act of sabotage and terror committed in the Crocus City Hall shopping center," the respective court ruling says.

When told by police officers to produce his documents, the court ruling says, Lutfulloi "started to swear, using rude and obscene expressions, [and] acted boldly in a provocative manner. He did not react to police officers repeatedly asking him to cease his disorderly behavior, continuing to act in breach of the law. During his apprehension and transportation, he showed defiance, attempting to break out, pushing police officers away arms. He behaved aggressively, spoke rudely and continued swearing, using obscene language. He refused to obey police orders, disobeying the lawful demands of police officers who were performing their official duties in keeping public order and ensuring public security," according to the court ruling.

Lutfulloi admitted committing the offence and "fully acknowledged the actual circumstances," the ruling says.

A group of men broke into Crocus City Hall before a concert by the band Picnic in the evening of March 22 and opened fire at the audience and staff. A fire broke out in the building. According to the latest update, there are 143 names of those killed on the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry's list.

On March 23, the Kremlin press service said Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov had briefed President Vladimir Putin on the detention of 11 suspects, including all four perpetrators of the terror attack.

Eight defendants, including four suspected perpetrators, have been placed under arrest.