14:52 27.08.2019

Crimean court releases disabled man Bekirov, charged with keeping 12 kilos of TNT, from custody – lawyer

2 min read
Crimean court releases disabled man Bekirov, charged with keeping 12 kilos of TNT, from custody – lawyer

The Central District Court of Simferopol on Tuesday changed the restraining measure of Edem Bekirov, who was charged with possession of explosives and cartridges, one of Bekirov's lawyers, Islyam Velilyayev, has told Interfax.

"His restraining measure [pretrial custody] was replaced by a pledge to show up [when summoned by investigators]. It's not even house arrest, and it's a big victory. He will collect his belongings from the remand facility and return home today," Velilyayev said.

The main argument in favor of this court ruling was the results of a medical examination which revealed that Bekirov has medical conditions which prohibit his further stay in jail, he said.

In December 2018, the Russian Federal Security Service's (FSB) Crimea branch detained Bekirov, a resident of the Ukrainian village of Novooleksiyivka, who was trying to enter the peninsula from Ukraine. The man was then charged with "illegal acquisition, storage, and possession of ammunition and explosives."

In the spring of 2018, Bekirov made a cache of ammunition and explosives "for use in unlawful activities on the peninsula," the FSB said after its officers found 12 kilograms of TNT and 200 firearm cartridges in the cache.

Bekirov was involved with a group controlled by Lenur Islyamov, who was behind the 2015 energy blockade of Crimea, the FSB said.

Bekirov himself denies any wrongdoing, saying that in May 2018 he spent one day in Crimea and was with relatives the whole time, because he could not move on his own following heart surgery.

In May 2019 the Moscow Helsinki Group demanded that the 58-year-old be released from the Simferopol jail.

Bekirov suffers from a group I disability. In 2018, he underwent heart surgery, one of his legs was amputated, leaving a non-healing wound, and his diabetes is advancing.

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