Moscow court announces jury verdict for two men involved in the murder of Vyacheslav Ivankov

The evidence gathered by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation was considered by the court to be sufficient to convict Murtazi Shadania and Dzhambul Janashia on the basis of a guilty verdict of a jury. Depending on their roles, they were each found guilty of committing offences under Paragraphs G, H of Part 2 of Article 105 of the Criminal Code (murder), Part 1 of Article 138 and Part 3 of Article 222 (illegal trafficking in special technical devices designed to obtain information discreetly and in weapons).

It was established that in 2009 Murtazi Shadania, Dzhambul Janashia, Kakha Gazzaev, Nuzgar Papava and Astamur Butba were brought in by Ilya Simonia to commit the murder of Vyacheslav Ivankov, also known as kingpin "Iaponchik". The offense was motivated by promise of unidentified persons to return Simonia the status of a "kingpin", or a person holding senior position in the criminal hierarchy, and to provide him with general patronage.

Murder of Ivankov was carefully planned. His lifestyle, residence and frequently visited placed were studied. The victim was under covert surveillance which showed that he frequently visited restaurant "Tainyi slon". This was taken into account at choosing a place for the attack, escape routes, transport and conspiracy means.  The offense was committed using an SVD sniper rifle.

Investigation established roles of each perpetrator. According to investigation, Janashia and Gazzaev together with other perpetrators several times visited the "Tainyi slon" restaurant on Khoroshevskoe shosse in Moscow to carry out covert surveillance of Ivankov. Shadania also carried out covert surveillance, provided communication and took part in trafficking of firearms used for the murder to Moscow. At the moment of the murder all three were on site watching surrounding area.

According to investigation, the murder was performed by Astamur Butba. Sitting in the back of a parked Gazel truck, he shot Ivankov from the SVD rifle through a tent. Ivankov subsequently died in a medical facility.

Investigation of the probe included several forensic examinations including ballistic and molecular-genetic ones that proved involvement of perpetrators in the offense.  During the search, documents confirming a motive for the crime, which were kept at Simonia's behest, were found.

Earlier, the jury had unanimously found both defendants guilty of the crimes charged to them by the Investigative Committee of Russia. Shadania was sentenced to 16 years' imprisonment and Janashia to 15 years' imprisonment in a strict regime colony.  Their prosecution under Part 1 of Article 138 and Part 3 of Article 222 of the Criminal Code was discontinued due to the expiration of the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution, i.e. on non-rehabilitative grounds.

In addition, Kakha Gazzaev has already been sentenced to a long term of imprisonment. Simonia, Papava and Butba absconded from the investigation and were placed on the international wanted list.