13 Jan 2020 21:48

Orkhan Dzhemal's ex-wife Irina Gordiyenko unconvinced by Investigative Committee's theory about killing of Russian journalists in CAR

MOSCOW. Jan 13 (Interfax) - Journalist Irina Gordiyenko, who was recognized as an aggrieved party in the case involving the killing of Russian journalists in the Central African Republic (CAR) in July 2018, said she doubts the Investigative Committee's theory about the criminals' motives.

"I am terribly saddened by this [theory]. Because the Investigative Committee is the main body of our country, which should support its theories with evidence; that is its purpose. But Lieut. Gen. Krasnov did not provide anything but words, which were absolutely unsubstantiated with anything for almost 1.5 years. They said the same in a press release issued a little more than a year ago. Before saying it was a robbery you need to provide some evidence," Gordiyenko told Interfax on Monday.

Journalists Orkhan Dzhemal, Alexander Rostorguyev, and Kirill Radchenko were killed in the Central African Republic in undetermined circumstances on July 30, 2018. The journalists were in the country to investigate the activities of the so-called Wagner Private Military Company.

Russian Investigative Committee deputy head Igor Krasnov said in an interview with the newspaper Kommersant on January 12 that Russian investigators had come to the conclusion that the killing was committed for the purpose of robbery. "The determined circumstances of the attack indicate that the killing was committed for the purpose of robbery by residents of the CAR or the neighboring countries who systematically committed grave crimes in that region," he said.

Gordiyenko said Russian investigators had previously received materials collected by the victims' colleagues from the center Dossier, who are conducting their own investigation, but they were not taken into account. "However, the Investigative Committee declined to verify them, despite the information provided to it," she said.

"There's little behind the things revealed by Mr. Krasnov," Radchenko's father Alexander said. "The investigators who travelled to the CAR did not look into those documents, which had already been received prior to their departure. The witness, the driver Bienvenue Duvokama, was lying even then, and it was evident. The investigator in the CAR said the killing was plotted in advance, but an ambush was actually set there, while our authorities were only saying that they [journalists] were robbed and killed," he said in a phone call posted on Novaya Gazeta's YouTube channel.

The victims' clothing was destroyed in the CAR, as it was allegedly turned into rugs, while relatives who were found to be aggrieved parties, learned of this only a year and four months following the interrogation, Radchenko's father said. "What kind of ballistic inspection can be done if there are no bullets or clothing? Their clothing is necessary in order to find out from what distance shots were fired. It's impossible to establish the number and types of weapons used by the murderers, the number of gunmen cannot be established, and the sequence of actions undertaken by the attackers cannot be established. Perhaps, the tactics of certain special forces could be seen in their actions, and it could be possible already on the basis of an aggregate of information to reliably establish whether the driver himself saw all of that," he said.