Sunday, 24 July 2011

Domodedovo bomb hearings to be held behind closed doors

Proceedings against the gang suspected of sending Magomed Yevloyev, 20, to blow up the arrivals hall of Domodedovo airport will be secret.

Meanwhile, the Investigative Committee has announced the reasons for its high-profile raid upon the airport two weeks ago – to establish who owns it.

Investigators are unsatisfied with Dmitry Kamenshchik’s assertions that he is the sole owner.

Investigators are also following a separate criminal probe into how security allowedYevloyev to perpetrate his crime.

Moscow’s Basmanny court ruled on Wednesday that further court hearings should take place behind closed doors to “ensure the safety of the process,” Interfax reported, cited.

Press will not be admitted even to announcements of court decisions.

Evloyev killed 37 and wounded 160 when he blew himself up on Jan 24. His 16-year-old brother and 22-year-old sister have also been arrested in connection with the fatal attack.

The court has extended custody for brothers Islam and Ilyez Yandiyev, who are likewise implicated.

The police raid earlier this month prompted speculation that the rough tactics were part of an investigation into the circumstances of the attack.

No announcement at the time was given as to why the raid took place. Investigators announced today in a press release that it was to find out exactly who owns the transport hub, Russia’s largest.

But transport analyst Nikita Melnikov at Aton Brokerage was unconvinced. He told The Moscow News soon after the raid that both the bombing and a later incident when a woman managed to board a plane without having bought a ticket were opportunities to probe Domodedovo over ownership.

The state questions Kamenshchik’s ownership, both he and the powers that be have a brittle relationship.

Successful businesses with murky ownership origins have a tendency to fall foul of the authorities, Melnikov said and Domodedovo is likely to continue feeling the heat until it takes on board state recommendations, something Kamenshchik himself complained of a press conference on Tuesday.

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