Four men charged with Moscow concert hall attack

Four men accused of staging the concert hall attack, killing more than 130 people appeared in a Moscow court on Sunday. Three were marched into court, bent double while the fourth was in a wheelchair.  The men showed signs of severe beatings, while one of them was barely conscious as they faced formal terrorism charges. A court statement said that two of the suspects accepted guilt, though the condition in which they appeared in court raised questions on whether they were speaking freely. Russia has arrested 11 people so far, including the four gunmen who appeared in court.

Moscow’s Basmanny District Court formally charged Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, 32; Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, 30; Shamsidin Fariduni, 25; and Mukhammadsobir Faizov, 19, with committing a group terrorist attack resulting in the death of others. The offense carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The court ordered that the men, all of whom are citizens of Tajikistan, be held in pre-trial custody until May 22.

The Islamic State group, or IS, has claimed responsibility for the attack at Crocus City Hall on Friday and posted a graphic video on their website. Russian officials have blamed Ukraine for the incident, without evidence. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the main suspects planned to flee to Ukraine. Kyiv has denied any involvement and called the claim “absurd”.

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