18 Jan 2018 14:15

Supreme Court increases term for man involved in murder of Hero of Russia to life in prison

MOSCOW. Jan 18 (Interfax) - The Russian Supreme Court on Thursday granted prosecutors' request and toughened the sentence given to Artur Bekbolatov, an accomplice in the murder of Dagestani police officer Magomed Nurbagandov, the court's press service told Interfax.

"Having considered the prosecutors' recommendation, the court of appeals changed the sentence, replacing the first-instance court's decision with life in prison in a high-security penal colony," the press service said.

On October 3, 2017, the North Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced Bekbolatov to 24 years in prison.

Bekbolatov was convicted of participating in an illegal armed formation, setting up a gang, attacking law-enforcement officers, deliberately damaging someone else's property, illegally seizing a vehicle by violent methods dangerous to people's lives and health and with the aim of stealing it, receiving terrorist training, and of taking part in the illegal trade of weapons by an organized group.

According to earlier reports, Bekbolatov and Aziz Dzhamalutdinov, acting together with other gang members, attacked Nurbagandov and his relatives, who were having a picnic in a forest near the village of Sergolaka in Dagestan on July 10, 2016.

The militants first killed Magomed's cousin, Abdurashid Nurbagandov, who tried to defend his younger brother. Then the gang members, having found out that Magomed Nurbagandov was a police officer, forced him down onto his knees and ordered him to call on other policemen to quit as they recorded his message on a mobile phone camera. Before he was killed, Nurbagandov instead said, "Keep working, brothers!"

Security forces neutralized one of the attackers in Izberbash on September 7, 2016. A mobile phone with a recording of Nurbagandov's message to his colleagues was confiscated from him. Security forces killed the four during a special operation in Makhachkala on the same day. The remaining two gang members were detained in Izberbash on September 9, 2016.

Nurbagandov received the Hero of Russia award and the Order of Courage posthumously for his courage and heroism.

Investigators also established that Bekbolatov, Dzhamalutdinov and other gang members had attacked two traffic police officers on the Caucasus Federal Motorway near Izberbash in August 2016. The suspects were detained, while the other six gang members were neutralized after offering armed resistance.

In mid-August 2017, Dzhamalutdinov was convicted on six counts and sentenced to 17 years in a high-security penal colony.