The New York Times continuing its impressively tough recent line of critical reporting on the Putin KGB state, reports:
Only one spectator showed up for the final hearing in the killing of Magomed Yevloyev. He was a broad-beamed, ruddy-faced man in a carefully pressed black suit, and once in the courtroom he removed his tall fur hat, set it on the bench beside him and waited for a chance to speak.
Sunlight streamed in the window, bouncing off the white walls, but the old man had brought a heaviness with him into the room. When the time came, Yakhya Yevloyev stood and recited a litany of evidence not gathered — witnesses not interviewed, threads left dangling — that might have led to a murder conviction in his son’s death.
The room went silent out of respect for the man’s loss, and for a moment it seemed as if the process could rewind 18 months to the beginning, when his son, an opposition leader in the southern republic of Ingushetia, was hustled into a police car and shot through the head at point-blank range.
Back then, in August 2008, it was a crime so outrageous that it seemed to demand action. Magomed Yevloyev was openly feuding with the region’s leader, Murat M. Zyazikov, when the two men happened to board the same flight from Moscow. Barely half an hour after the police escorted Mr. Yevloyev, 36, off the plane, he was dropped off at a hospital with an execution-style wound.
Death is often murky in the violent borderland of the Russian north Caucasus, but this one seemed different. Protests broke out in Ingushetia, and Western leaders pressed Moscow to punish those responsible. Even the Kremlin appeared to feel the political pressure: within two months, President Dmitri A. Medvedev removed both Mr. Zyazikov and his interior minister.
Continue reading →