The court of the city of Lozovaya of the Kharkiv region arrested a native of the Chechen village of Bamut 33-year-old Amkhad Ilaev for forty days. The Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Chechen Republic is searching for him through Interpol. This was reported by Ilaev’s lawyer Ivan Angelin. “He is accused of a murder of several people and illegal possession of weapons, he is attributed with pure crime in order to prevent any doubts and suspicions of the political background of the case,” the lawyer believes. According to him, after the court decision, Ilaev was placed in the Kharkiv pretrial detention center. Angelin added that the court was held in Lozovaya, as his client lives in the Lozovskiy district. 

The documents received by the Prosecutor’s Office of the Kharkiv region from the Russian colleagues and presented to the court to justify the motion for arrest, show that Amkhad Ilaev was arrested in absentia by the Court of Grozny, the decision was made according to the motion from the Major of Justice, Investigator of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic T. Saikhanov. He is accused that he, together with some Khamzat Shemilev, has allegedly committed the murder of five local residents in stanitsa (village) Pervomayskaya of the Grozny district of Chechnya in August 2009. Meanwhile, it is stated in the request that the accused allegedly entered Ukraine by train in 2014. 

Attention is drawn by the chronology of legal proceedings in relation to Ilaev set forth in the documents of the Russian side. The request states that on September 14, 2018 (9 years after the incriminated murder!!!) a resolution to prosecute Ilaev as an accused was adopted and signed by the Major of Justice of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Chechen Republic Makhauri.  Amkhad Ilaev was placed on a wanted list twice:  on a federal – October 26, 2009, and on an international in 9 years – December 11, 2018. These inconsistencies and absurdities indicate the haste with which the documents were prepared. 

A former resident of Lozovaya Anarbek Abbasov, now living in Germany, told to VAYFOND that he has been acquainted with Amkhad Ilaev since 2008. “I has been acquainted with him since the end of 2008, we went to the mosque in Kharkiv several times together,” Abbasov said. He added that Ilaev led quite a solitary life and left the Lozovskiy district rarely. Abbasov’s words were confirmed by Imam – the brother of Ilaev, who lives in France. He told that he arrived to Ukraine together with his brother exactly in December, 2008. “The murder of a Russian family, which they are trying to pin on my brother, took place almost a year after we had left. We were forced to leave Chechnya after the death of our brothers, otherwise we could expect the same fate,” said Imam Ilaev. He noted that Amkhad still has Russian citizenship. “Amkhad did not apply for a residence permit in Ukraine. When we arrived, it was enough to have an internal Russian passport, and then the order changed, it became necessary to have a foreign passport, I made it for myself to leave to Europe, but my brother remained in Ukraine…, he lives in a small village, he has a wife and a little child”, he noted.

As a rule, refugees from Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus are detained upon request of the Russian special services when crossing a border. When checking documents, border guards indicate who is wanted by Interpol. In Ukraine, in this case, the only option is detention with further temporary and then extraditional arrest. Ilaev has lived in the Ukrainian province for ten years without attracting the attention of law enforcement agencies. Local police or security service officers should have a special incentive if they are searching for a foreigner from the Interpol lists in a village in the Kharkiv region. For example, a message from a “well-wisher”, supported by an amount with at least three zeros. Islamophobia of some heads of the Kharkov regional SBU Directorate (Security Service of Ukraine) could play an important role here. In September of 2016, the Kharkiv SBU officers surrendered Dagestani Aminat Babaeva who requested asylum in Ukraine to the FSB officers, shot Ingush Zelimkhan Belkharoev in the spring of 2017 – allegedly while trying to escape, and in the fall of 2018 extradited Timur Tumgoev to Russia upon the request of the FSB.

At the end of November 2008 in the Chechen village of Bamut, armed men in camouflage abducted brothers Akhdan and Alvi Ilaev from home, transported them to the local police department, later their corpses were shown on the local TV channel, which called them killed “militants”. Relatives found traces of torture on their bodies. In the first days of December 2008, their brother Zaur was called to the service, later his body with traces of beating and strangulation was found near the base of a battalion of internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia “North” in the local mortuary. Exactly after these tragic events Amkhad and Imam Ilayev left for Ukraine.

Ukrainian legislation obliges the Prosecutor’s Office to check carefully all the documents provided by the party, which requests a citizen for extradition. The history of the death of Ilaev brothers was once studied by the Human Rights Center Memorial and is publicly accessible. But the question whether Kharkiv prosecutors will want to get acquainted with it or not still remains open. Ukrainian mass media write about the threatof extradition for Amkhad Ilaev, and lawyer Ivan Angelin announced his intention to use all legal tools to prevent the extradition of the Chechen to Russian special services, which are involved in the murder of three of his brothers.

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