25 Feb 2020 21:40

Gazzayev arrested in Ivankov murder case provided killer with rifle - investigation

MOSCOW. Feb 25 (Interfax) - Kakha Gazzayev, the detainee suspected of murdering crime lord Vyacheslav "Yaponchik" (Little Japanese) Ivankov in 2009, has been accused of providing the killer with the instrument used in the crime, Russian Investigative Committee spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko said.

"According to investigators, it was Gazzayev who gave his accomplices the rifle used to kill Ivankov, who was personally involved in the rifle's transportation and storage, and was on the scene at exactly the moment when the murder was committed. He was watching the area around the scene," Petrenko told Interfax on Tuesday.

Gazzayev has been charged with murder by an organized group and illegal possession of a weapon. The court has ordered his arrest for two months at the request of investigators.

Having been convicted by a court for other crimes, Gazzayev, 39, a repeat offender, has been in prison since 2017, the Investigative Committee said.

Interfax learned earlier of Gazzayev's arrest from spokesperson for Moscow's Basmanny District Court Irina Morozova.

On February 6, as reported earlier, the Basmanny District Court ordered Murtaza Shadania be taken into custody for two months as a measure of restraint. Investigators believe Shadania was involved in the killing of Yaponchik.

According to investigators, Shadania carried out hidden surveillance on Ivankov and "organized the transportation of a weapon to Moscow, which was later used to shoot the victim."

The Investigative Committee believes Shadania carried out the murder of Ivankov, "who was at the top of the criminal hierarchy at that moment and belonged to the category of so-called code-bound criminals" while a member of an organized group.

Ivankov was seriously wounded on July 28, 2009, near a restaurant on Khoroshevskoye Shosse. He died of his wounds on October 9, 2009.

Informed sources told Interfax they linked the murder to the attack against crime boss Aslan Usoyan, also known as Ded Khasan (Grandpa Hassan), who was killed in Moscow in 2013. According to the sources, Grandpa Hassan and Little Japanese had a conflict with a clan of code-bound criminals led by ethnic Georgians, in particular, Tariel 'Taro' Oniani, several years ago. Among the victims of the "war" was Ivankov, whom, according to operatives, Grandpa Hassan vowed to avenge.