Source Pravda.Ru

Russians have good chances for sentence review, Qatari lawyer says

Defense lawyer of the two Russians convicted in Qatar Muhsin al-Suwaidi regards their chances for review of the sentence as good.

Defenders will immediately appeal the court's decision, Muhsin al-Suwaidi told RIA Novosti by phone.

The lawyer pointed out weak and contradictive evidence of the prosecutors and big drawbacks and violations in its materials and actions. First of all, it concerns the so-called confessions of the defendants, Muhsin al-Suwaidi said.

In his words, defenders will insistently use these facts seeking the acquittal of the convicts.

The lawyer failed to give the terms of the case examination in the Court of Appeal. Usually it takes 2-2.5 months, he noted.

On Wednesday Qatar court sentenced the two Russians on charges of being involved in the death of Chechen separatist leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev to life imprisonment.

Yandarbiyev who lived in Doha since 2000 was killed in a Toyota Landcruiser explosion on February 13, 2004.

In the early hours of February 19 the Qatari special services arrested three Russians, who were on a business trip in Doha. They were charged with Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev's murder.

One of the detainees, first secretary of the Russian embassy in Qatar Alexander Fetisov having diplomatic immunity was released and returned to Russia in March.

Moscow insists on the Russians' innocence and demands their return.

According to Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov, Moscow will seek their return to Russia via political and diplomatic channels.

Neither these people, nor the Russian authorities are involved in Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev's murder, Mr. Ivanov stressed.

Moreover, the Qatari prosecutors lacked convincing evidence and violated the international and Qatari laws during the trial.