Four men, all visibly injured, charged in deadly Moscow concert hall attack

Four men accused of staging the Russia concert hall attack that killed more than 130 people appeared before a Moscow court on Sunday showing signs of severe beatings as they faced formal terrorism charges. One appeared to be barely conscious during the hearing.

Court statements said two of the suspects accepted their guilt in the assault, though the men’s condition raised questions about whether they were speaking freely. There had been conflicting reports in Russian media outlets that said three or all four men admitted culpability.

Moscow’s Basmanny District Court formally charged Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, 32; Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, 30; Shamsidin Fariduni, 25; and Mukhammadsobir Faizov, 19, 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.

Russian media had reported that the men were tortured during interrogation by the security services, and Mirzoyev, Rachabalizoda and Fariduni showed signs of heavy bruising, including swollen faces.

A person with their hands handcuffed behind their back is forcefully guided by police officers through a court house as photographer take pictures.
Rachabalizoda is escorted by authorities in the Basmanny District Court in Moscow on Sunday. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/The Associated Press)

Rachabalizoda also had a heavily bandaged ear. Russian media said on Saturday that one of the suspects had his ear cut off during interrogation. The Associated Press couldn’t verify the report or the videos purporting to show this.

The fourth suspect, Faizov, was brought to court 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.

Court officials said Mirzoyev and Rachabalizoda admitted guilt for the attack after being charged.

A person with facial injuries sits behind a glass wall as a person wearing a balaclava watched them.
Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, a suspect in the shooting attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue, sits behind a glass wall enclosure at the Basmanny District Court in Moscow on Sunday. (Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters)

The hearing came as Russia observed a national day of mourning for Friday’s attack on the suburban Crocus City Hall concert venue that killed at least 137 people.

The attack, which has been claimed by an affiliate of ISIS, is the deadliest on Russian soil in years.

WATCH | Putin says Moscow attackers arrested en route to Ukraine: 

Russia mourns concert hall attack victims as suspects appear in court

WARNING: Video contains distressing details | As Russia mourned the at least 137 people killed in what officials call the worst terrorist attack in the country in 20 years, one survivor is recounting how he made it out alive. Meanwhile, several visibly injured suspects appeared in court. 

Russian authorities arrested the four suspected attackers on Saturday, with seven more people detained on suspicion of involvement in the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an address to the nation on Saturday night. He claimed they were captured while fleeing to Ukraine, something that Kyiv firmly denied.

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