22 Jan 2020 17:23

Younger brother of slain chief of Ingush anti-extremism center appointed in his stead

MAGAS. Jan 22 (Interfax) - Islam Eldzharkiyev, a younger brother of Ibragim Eldzharkiyev, former chief of the anti-extremism center at the Interior Ministry for Ingushetia, who was recently killed in Moscow, has been appointed to this office, an informed source told Interfax on Wednesday.

"Ibragim's brother, Islam Eldzharkiyev, has been appointed chief of the anti-extremism center. The order has already been signed. He came to work on Wednesday and took up his duties in the new capacity," the source said.

Before this appointment, Islam Eldzharkiyev has served lately as chief of a division at the local Interior Ministry's internal security service. He is two years younger than Ibragim Eldzharkiyev.

Islam Eldzharkiyev's official introduction to the anti-extremism center's personnel is planned on Friday, during a meeting of the local Interior Ministry's board in Magas, which is also to be attended by officials from the Russian Interior Ministry department for the North Caucasus Federal District.

As reported earlier, Ibragim Eldzharkiyev was shot and killed in Moscow on November 2, 2019. His brother, Abdulakhmed, who worked as a doctor in a Moscow hospital, also died at the hands of the same killer. The investigation determined that the killer fired at least ten shots at his victims.

The case addresses both an assassination attempt on Eldzharkiyev, which took place on January 12, 2019, and his murder on November 2, 2019.

On December 7, 2019, Moscow's Basmanny District Court ruled to take six suspects into custody, including businessman Khasan Polonkoyev, his son Zakre Polonkoyev, his nephew Aslan Polonkoyev, as well as Alikhan Belkhoroyev, Ise Nakastoyev, and Ali Kartoyev. The court ordered that they remain in custody until at least February 6, 2020.

Investigators suspect Khasan Polonkoyev of leading a criminal group. Polonkoyev's lawyer, Murad Musayev, told Interfax that his client had been charged with the attack on Eldzharkiyev a year earlier, but not with his murder.

A court also ruled on November 18, 2019, to issue an arrest warrant for Kureishi Kartoyev, who is suspected of carrying out the killing of Eldzharkiyev. Additionally, Gelani Kostoyev, Akhmed Arapiyev, and Magomed-Gazi Chaniyev were taken into custody in the same case.

Sources told Interfax that Kartoyev, 46, also known as Kolya, a resident of the Ingush village of Ekazhevo and member of the influential Batal-Haji religious community, may have fled to Turkey. The investigation is treating him as the prime suspect in Eldzharkiyev's killing. He has been declared internationally wanted.

According to the defense team, the investigation concluded that Eldzharkiyev's assassination was likely related to his job and a result of his presumed involvement in the death of Ibragim Belkhoroyev, a Batal-Haji community leader.

Anti-extremism center officers searched the home of Abo Aushev in the Ingush village of Surkhakhi on January 14. Aushev is a former driver and bodyguard of Belkhoroyev, a grandson of Sheikh Batal-Haji Belkhoroyev, who was killed in late December 2018.

Two more local residents were detained in mid-January on suspicion of their role in the killing.