Saudi Shariat court's verdict concerning two Chechens, who were sentenced to 4 and 6 years in prison respectively for hijacking a Russian plane, "unfortunately conveys the suggestion of its doubletalking work." The opinion was set forth by Alexei Volin, Russia's governmental deputy chief of staff, before journalists on Wednesday.
According to him, the court's decision "does not comply with common practice of Islamic courts." "It is common knowledge that, for example, for a theft at a market the classic Shariat court sentences a criminal to the amputation of an arm. Hence, the hijacking of an aircraft is regarded as a petty crime, less grave than, for example, the theft of a chicken or a purse," Volin said.
Through the fault of the terrorists, who hijacked the plane to Saudi Arabia, two people were killed, and lives of over 170 passengers and the crew members were exposed to danger, Volin recalled. "Usually crimes of the kind are punished in a more severe way, including the death penalty," the Russian government's representative announced.
According to Volin, the court's decision may form an idea of Saudi Arabia as a "terrorists' preserve". "However, we know from practical experience that all the countries, which give shelter to international terrorists, soon have to face serious troubles and problems," the governmental deputy chief of staff concluded.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969