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Another Kyrgyzstani, involved in terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, arrested

The Basmanny District Court of Moscow yesterday arrested a Kyrgyz citizen Mukhammadyusup Ermatov, a taxi driver, who had a bomb similar to the one that a suicide bomber blew up on the St. Petersburg subway on April 3 Kommersant reported.

Mukhammadyusup Ermatov was brought to court by three guards. Suspected of terrorism and illegal trafficking in weapons and explosives, he hid his face immediately under two hoods. Seeing the video and cameras aimed at him, tried to avoid shooting in every possible way. Caught in a metal box for the defendants, he turned his back to the court room.

When Judge Yuliya Safina began to find out his identity, it turned out that Mukhammadyusup Ermatov was an ethnic Uzbek who moved to Russia, like many other persons involved in the investigation, from the Osh oblast of Kyrgyzstan.

Living in St. Petersburg, he and his brother Ibragimjon, also arrested in the case of the terrorist attack, worked on construction sites, and then received a taxi driver license. Lived with six fellow countrymen in a rented apartment on Tovarischesky Avenue. When they were detained, an explosive device in the body of a fire extinguisher was found in the apartment.

According to experts, exactly the same bomb Akborzhon Jalilov blew up in St. Petersburg metro on April 3 this year. Victims of the terrorist attack were 15 people.

The defendant denied involvement in the terrorist attack, and his court-appointed lawyer Dmitry Lebedev noted that Ermatov’s apartment was rented with other people, and there is no evidence that the explosive device belongs to him.

The investigator, who applied for the arrest of Mukhammadyusup Ermatov, said: the suspect brought the bomb to the apartment. This the investigation found out from the brother of Muhammadyusup Ibragirimjon.

The lawyer, obviously hinting that the testimony could have been received under pressure, reported that Mukhammadyusup Ermatov was beaten while detained.

«Tell me, what is the bruise on your nose? Were you beaten?» he asked. «I was hit once during detention," the suspect answered.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, the brothers Ermatov, who moved to Russia in 2011, were not registered as extremists.

The judge, after studying the materials submitted by the investigation, found a certificate stating that the suspect had no visible injuries. There it was said that, for health reasons, he could be detained in pretrial detention centre.

The judge sent another, already eleventh, person of a loud investigation to the pretrial detention centre, deciding that otherwise he could hide and contact witnesses and unidentified accomplices to «work out a unified position on the case.»

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