The Southern District Military Court interrogated the brother of the founder of the Dagestan newspaper Chernovik Khadzhimurad Kamalov, who was killed 10 years ago, Magdi Kamalov, who was recognized as a victim in the case. He stated that he did not believe the investigation, and there were innocent people in the dock, writes “Caucasus. Realities”.
“In December 2011, I worked in Surgut and returned to Dagestan the very next morning after the murder of my brother,” said Magdi Kamalov. – On the same day, all the people around, including the investigation, began to convince me of the involvement of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic Shamil Isaev in the crime. I doubted and for a while really suspected him, but I was not provided with any evidence, so I began my investigation. Now I see that the case is untenable. “
According to the investigation, Shamil Isaev turned to the accused Magomed Abigasanov for help in organizing the murder, promising him income from the sale of fuel at the Sogrneft filling station under the control of the politician as a reward. Abigasanov allegedly agreed to the deal and persuaded his friends, Magomed Khazamov and Murad Shuaybov, to attack. The latter was sentenced to 10.5 years in a maximum security colony in 2015 on charges of murdering the journalist of the Istina newspaper Abdulmalik Akhmedilov.
According to Magdi Kamalov, his brother did not have a conflict with Isaev, as the prosecution insists. They were not only not enemies, but also helped each other in some situations. According to Kamalov, having studied the files of “Chernovik” for 2009, 2010 and 2011, he did not find in them a single article by his brother in which Isaev was criticized in any way.
In addition, Isaev could not order the murder of the accused Magomed Khazamov, Magomed Abigasanov and Murad Shuaybov, since there is no connection between these people, the victim is convinced. And a number of testimonies, according to Magdi Kamalov, were obtained by the security forces through pressure on the defendants.
The brother of the murdered journalist noted that Khadzhimurad Kamalov had many conflicts, including with the former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Dagestan Adilgerey Magomedtagirov, who was killed in 2009, and the ex-head of the Makhachkala administration, Said Amirov, who in 2015 was sentenced to life imprisonment for organizing a contract murder of the investigator.
In 2008, an attempt was planned on his brother, and Magdi Kamalov, according to him, even knows the name of the customer. But Isayev was not among the people who threatened the journalist, the victim emphasizes.
According to Magdi Kamalov, the investigators “did not want to listen” to his arguments, “they called them nonsense, for six months they did not carry out any actions in the case at all.”
Khadzhimurad Kamalov was shot dead on December 15, 2011 at the gate of the newspaper Chernovik in Makhachkala. In December 2012, Khadzhimurad Kamalov posthumously became a laureate of the Andrei Sakharov Prize “For journalism as an act.” The journalist prize and foundation are named after Khadzhimurad Kamalov.
The active phase of the murder investigation began only in 2018, after the arrests of high-ranking officials in Dagestan.
The lawyers previously claimed a violation of the adversarial principle by the court, which took the position of the prosecution. However, the defense did not succeed in obtaining a challenge to the panel of judges.
In recent years, the Chernovik newspaper founded by Khadzhimurad Kamalov was pressured by the authorities. In 2019, the journalist of the publication Abdulmumin Hajiyev was arrested. His accused in the financing of terrorism and other crimes. The international journalistic community came out in defense of Hajiyev. The Memorial Human Rights Center recognized the journalist as a political prisoner.