Man convicted in killing of Chechen warlord files appeal

A lawyer for an Iranian man accused of scouting locations for the murder said his client does not own a car and cannot drive.

DUBAI // A lawyer for a man sentenced to life in prison for his role in the murder of the Chechan warlord Sulim Yamadayev has asked an appeals court to provide documents that prove his client can drive. Abdullah al Shamsi told Dubai Court of Appeals that MH could not have been involved in the assassination because he does not own a car and cannot drive. Mr al Shamsi said: "My client, your honour, was accused that he drove the assassins and helped them scout the locations. He does not even drive or own a car."

MH, an Iranian, and a Tajik national, MA, both 37, were convicted in April of aiding and abetting the premeditated murder of Mr Yamadayev and of possessing the gold-plated 9mm Stechkin APS handgun believed to have been used to kill him. MA, in his first appearance before the appeal, formally denied the charges against him. He was also sentenced to life for his part in the murder. Four other suspects are currently sought by Dubai through Interpol, including Adam Delimkhanov, the former Chechen deputy prime minister and a member of the Russian parliament.

During the first trial, a lower court heard that MH told investigators that during a meeting with Mr Delimkhanov the politician said Mr Yamadayev "must die". Lawyers for MH and MA previously asked the court to provide them with the forensic and ballistic reports for their review and to release the travel records of two police officers who were witnesses in the case. Mr al Shamsi had earlier requested that the court dismiss the testimonies of the two officers if they were not brought in person before the court to testify again.

Mr Yamadayev was shot dead in a basement car park at Jumeirah Beach Residence on March 28 last year. The appeal was adjourned until July 11.