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The evidence gathered by the Main Directorate on Major Crimes Investigation of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has been found by the court to be sufficient to convict 11 members of a terrorist community. Depending on the role of each, they have been found guilty of committing offenses under Articles 205.4, 205.1, 205, 223.1, 222.1, and 222 of the Criminal Code of Russia (organization of a terrorist community and participation in it; assisting to terrorism; terrorist act; illegal manufacture of explosives; illegal traffic of firearms and explosive devices).
The investigation and the court established that, no later than in 2013, Sirozhidin Mukhtarov born in the Kyrgyz Republic had organized in the Syrian Arab Republic a terrorist community aimed at terrorist activities including those against the Russian Federation and its citizens.
For this purpose, the convicts had manufactured three explosive devices. According to the general plan and his role in it, suicide bomber Akbarzhon Dzhalilov had made two explosive devices and illegally brought them to the St. Petersburg Metro. On April 3, 2017, he had placed one of them on the platform of the Ploshchad Vosstaniya station. He had been going to remotely activate the device but it had failed to operate due to structural deficiencies and was subsequently defused by law enforcement officers. Dzhalilov had kept the second device on himself and activated it on the same day in a metro car on the line between the Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institut-1 stations. As a result of the explosion, 15 persons were killed and 67 received bodily injuries of varying severity.
In the first days of investigation, the well-coordinated work of units of the Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service helped to prevent another terrorist attack being prepared by the convicts. The day before committing the terrorist act, Dzhalilov had handed to Muhammadusuf Ermatov--his previous acquaintance--the components for the third explosive device he had manufactured. Ermatov together with his brother Ibrahim and other members of the terrorist community had assembled the explosive device; however, they could not use it since they had been detained during a special operation and the explosive device had been seized and defused.
The criminal investigation was particularly difficult since one of the key principles of the terrorist community organized by Mukhtarov was strict compliance with conspiracy measures. In particular, members of the community had deliberately avoided the use of communications equipment and sightings by surveillance cameras when searching for places where terrorist acts would be committed. However, a set of investigative actions and forensic examinations carried out by officers of the Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service yielded irrefutable proof of the convicts’ involvement in the offenses. Investigators carried out a unique investigative experiment, during which a model of the explosive device was manufactured at the residence of members of the terrorist community. The results of this experiment refuted the version of the convicts that they had not been aware of their participation in terrorist activities since the manufacturing of such a device could not remain unnoticed by residents of the apartment. Investigators also carried out a large-scale work of examining digital traces that remained during the use of electronic communication means. The analysis of a big volume of technical data enabled them to make a clear conclusion about the actions of the persons despite their active obstruction and provision of their own versions of the accident that were proved false by the investigation.
The court has sentenced Abror Azimov to life imprisonment in a special regime penal colony; 10 other perpetrators have been sentenced to 19-28 years of imprisonment.
The criminal case into leaders of the terrorist community Sirozhidin Mukhtarov and Bobirzhon Makhbubov was presented separately; they were declared wanted.
Official spokesperson for the Investigative Committee of Russia S. Petrenko