Russia charges four men over Moscow concert hall attack

Three of the four suspects charged with carrying out the concert hall attack in Moscow that killed more than 130 people admitted guilt for the incident in a Russian court Sunday.

Moscow’s Basmanny District Court formally charged Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, 32; Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, 30; Mukhammadsobir Faizov, 19; and Shamsidin Fariduni, 25, with committing a group terrorist attack resulting in the death of others. The offence 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.

Mirzoyev, Rachabalizoda and Fariduni all admitted guilt after being charged. The fourth suspect, Faizov, was brought to court directly from a hospital in a wheelchair and sat with his eyes closed throughout the proceedings. He was attended by medics while in court, where he wore a hospital gown and trousers and was seen with multiple cuts.

The other three suspects appeared in court heavily bruised with swollen faces amid reports in Russian media that security services had tortured them during interrogation.

One suspect, Rachabalizoda, had a heavily bandaged ear. Russian media reported Saturday that one of the suspects had his ear cut off during interrogation. FRANCE 24 could not verify the report.

The Kremlin on Monday declined to comment on whether the four suspects had been subjected to mistreatment after being taken into custody. "I will leave this question unanswered," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a daily press briefing.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP & AP)

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