Abubakar Rizvanov, Kemal Tambiev and Abdulmumin Gadjiev (from left to right) in the courtroom. Photo by Konstantin Volgin for the "Caucasian Knot"

13 September 2023, 22:10

Friends of journalist Gadjiev are stunned by severe sentence

An acquittal for Abdulmumin Gadjiev was unlikely, but given the absence of proofs in the charges, there was hope for a minimum sentence; therefore, the court's decision turned out to be unexpectedly harsh, friends of the Dagestani journalist have stated. In their opinion, appealing the verdict will not lead to the acquittal or any significant reduction in the prison term.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the court sentenced Abdulmumin Gadjiev to 17 years, Abubakar Rizvanov to 18 years, and Kemal Tambiev to 17.5 years of freedom deprivation accordingly. Their advocates have assured that the verdicts will be challenged.

Gadjiev's acquittal was almost unbelievable, but even against this background, the passed sentence was unexpected and extremely severe, Kurban, one of Gadjiev's friends, was surprised. "I thought they would give him from 12 to 15 years," he has noted.

The verdict was expected, but there was hope for a minimum term, said Magomed, another Gadjiev's friend. "You always want to believe in the best, to believe in a miracle, even if we are talking about the person's absolute innocence. There was hope for recognition of the obvious – the innocence; or at least a conviction for the minimum term, which could be considered six years of freedom deprivation," Magomed, who was present today at the verdict announcement at the Southern District Military Court, has shared his opinion.

He believes that after such a harsh sentence, a part of the society will express indignation, while some people will change their opinion both about the judicial system and in relation to Gadjiev's criminal prosecution. "The healthy part of the society will be indignant. For some, this will be an epiphany," he has noted, adding that even if the appeal court somehow mitigates the verdict, the reduction will be insignificant.

Despite the innocence of Gadjiev, Rizvanov and Tambiev, which they actually proved in court, there was no expectation of their complete acquittal, Yusuf, another Gadjiev's friend, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. "Despite the fact that during this entire trial their innocence was repeatedly proven, I still had no expectations that they would be acquitted," he has explained, adding that he had not heard about any acquittals pronounced by the Southern District Military Court.

Gadjiev's finding guilty was expected, but Yusuf had hoped that the court would resort to a minimum term, realizing the absurdity of the prosecution's arguments. "There was hope that they would sentence them to no more than ten years; and the guys would get away with just such a minimum term. I prepared myself for the fact that they would receive such long terms, and the court would show no mercy," Yusuf has concluded.

The society's reaction to the verdict is mostly negative. Yusuf made such conclusions based on an analysis of social networks, adding that these verdicts passed to Gadjiev, Rizvanov and Tambiev will increase the public mistrust in the Russian judicial system.

Abdulmumin Gadjiev's friends had no hopes for an acquittal, but they expected that several articles would be removed from the indictment, and the sentence would not exceed 5-6 years, said Mukhammad, another Gadjiev's friend.

The guilty verdict against Gadjiev was expected, although the term itself, which was approved by the court, was unexpected for many, his friend Khamid also believes.

A complete acquittal of Abdulmumin Gadjiev was impossible, since the articles under which he was accused are very serious, Ilyas, a Gadjiev's friend, who had earlier worked with him for the "Chernovik" weekly, has noted.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 12, 2023 at 10:05 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: СK correspondent

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