In Bashkiria, the consideration of the criminal case against the so-called “Karmaskala Four” has ended. Depending on the role and degree of participation, the Karmaskaly Interdistrict Court found three of them – Ilnur Kinisarov, Rail Abkadirov and Rustam Amanov, who were detained in November 2020 in the village of Karmaskaly, guilty of preparing for hooliganism, illegal possession of weapons and explosives. They were given suspended sentences. The defendants stated that they do not consider themselves guilty and intend to file appeals. They link the prosecution to the protests on Mount Kushtau in August 2020.
The Karmaskala Interdistrict Court delivered a verdict in the case of the Karmaskala Four. A resident of the Ufimsky district, Ilnur Kinisarov, was found guilty of illegal acquisition, transfer, storage, transportation or carrying of weapons (part 1 of article 222 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), Rail Abkadirov from the Chishminsky district of illegal possession of explosives (part 1 of article 222.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ). In addition, both, as well as Baymak resident Rustam Amanov, were found guilty of preparing for hooliganism (part 1 of article 30 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, part 2 of article 213 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The fourth defendant, Marat Sharafutdinov, is currently undergoing psychiatric treatment.
The defendants, along with dozens of other members of the Bashkort organization (recognized as extremist and banned in the Russian Federation), were detained on November 7, 2020 in the village of Karmaskaly with the participation of the Grom special unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. They were stopped at the entrance to the village. As reported in the report of Alexei Maslov, head of the first combat department of the Grom special forces detachment of the drug control department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Bashkiria, two cars were stopped at the entrance to the village, in which there were 11 people. They refused to get out of the cars, after which physical force was used against them. Half an hour later, more than 20 cars arrived at the place of detention, from which about “70 aggressive citizens with a call to release the detainees” got out. “Many citizens held stones and baseball bats in their hands and pockets, threatening to use them against police officers,” the case file says. When detained, they “exhibited active group disobedience.”
According to investigators, the detainees planned to provoke a conflict with businessmen of Armenian origin living in Karmaskaly on the issue of control over the business. Public activist Fail Alchinov then told Kommersant-Ufa that on that day in the village a meeting was to be held between local residents and representatives of the Armenian diaspora, between whom a conflict had previously occurred. However, the Armenian community of Ufa issued an appeal stating that “no incidents involving Armenians have been recorded in the region.”
The next day, the Karmaskala Interdistrict Court found Ilnur Kinisarov, Rail Abkadirov and Rustam Amanov guilty of disobeying a lawful order or demand of a police officer (part 1 of article 19.3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation) and appointed 10 and 15 days of arrest. The defendants, as reported in the case file, provided the most active resistance to the police.
Later, criminal cases were initiated against four defendants. In January 2021, searches were carried out in the homes of the defendants, they were placed in the Ufa pre-trial detention center, where three of them spent 10 months, after which they were released under house arrest. The criminal case went to court in March 2022. The case against Marat Sharafutdinov has been separated into a separate proceeding and has not yet been considered by the court.
The defendants pleaded not guilty and asked to be acquitted. Ilnur Kinisarov stated in court that he was going to Karmaskaly to visit friends for pilaf, for which they bought a ram, human rights activist Almira Zhukova, who participated in the case as a witness, told Kommersant-Ufa. “Not a single fact has been confirmed, where it would be about the conflict with the Armenians. All the witnesses cited by the prosecution were classified. The guys always led a healthy lifestyle: they developed sports, helped children, did not drink alcohol. I believe they were persecuted for their active participation in the protests against the development of the Kushtau shikhan in August 2020,” commented Almira Zhukova.
She also noted that there can be no preparation for hooliganism: “By definition, this is a sudden action, you cannot prepare for it.”
According to the defendants in the case, explosives and weapons were planted on them during searches. Ilnur Kinisarov also stated that the defendants had already served their administrative sentence, and therefore it was unlawful to initiate a criminal case against them for the same actions.
The prosecutor’s office of Bashkiria requested real terms: for Rail Abkadirov – six years in prison, Rustam Amanov – three years, Ilnur Kinisarov – five and a half years.
Judge Yevgenia Karimova did not read the reasoning part of the decision yesterday. The defendants received a suspended sentence: Rail Abkadirov was sentenced to seven years with four years of probation and a fine of 30 thousand rubles, Rustam Amanov received three years, Ilnur Kinisarov – three years and two months.
Rustam Amanov told Kommersant-Ufa that he and his associates plan to file an appeal.