The sordid assassination of Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov’s rival Sulim Yamadayev in Dubai on Dubai World Cup day in 2009, and the ensuing investigation and trial that included plenty of mudslinging between Chechnya and Dubai over the last 12 months came to an end today when a Dubai court sentenced an Iranian and a Tajik to life sentences for their participation in the crime.
The two men sentenced were bit players in the assassination, and several others suspected of involvement by Dubai’s police chief, including the high-ranking Russian government official and Kadyrov right-hand man Adam Delimkhanov, remain at large and are on Interpol wanted lists.
The brazen, broad-daylight assassination sparked an international fracas between Mr. Delimkhanov and Dubai’s top cop, Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, who publicly traded insults in the media.
The Iranian has been repeatedly described in press reports as a groom in Mr. Kadyrov’s Dubai stable, but his trainer Herman Brown’s assistant, Nicolas Iguacel, has disputed that characterization. Responding in this blog in a Nov. 29, 2009, post, he wrote: “The Iranian guy that was arrested three days after the world cup wasn’t a groom. He was working for an embassy here in Dubai and was our interpreter [because] Ramzan [Kadyrov] doesn’t speak in English. The guy was at the stables the morning of the murder and at the races from the first race until the last race [because]they had Bankable running in the Duty Free and I was with him, so I don’t think if you murder someone you will be so cool at the races. And then he came the following two days to the stables, so I think he was in the wrong place at the right time [because] you don’t want to go to jail in Dubai; like all the other suspects, the best it would be to flight out of the country but, I’m not a detective, it s just my opinion.”