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CHECHEN FEMALE TERRORIST'S PRISON TERM REDUCED

RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Supreme Court has reduced a prison term for Zara Murtazaliyeva convicted for preparing a terrorist act in Moscow in 2004.

Thus, the woman will have to spend 8.5 years in prison.

Prosecutors had requested for reducing the term citing changes in the Russian Criminal Code.

However, the verdict in general remained intact. The Supreme Court turned down the writ of appeal filed by Murtazaliyeva's lawyers who had requested to cancel a Moscow court's ruling and send the case for reexamination.

Zoya Usmanova, one of the defendant's lawyers, said she intended to file a supervisory complaint with the Supreme Court's board.

Vladimir Suvorov, also the defendant's lawyer, said, for his part, that he would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. "I believe today's decision to mitigate the punishment is ridiculous. I hoped the Supreme Court would understand the case had been totally fabricated," said the lawyer.

On January 17, a Moscow city court sentenced Murtazaliyeva to 9 years in prison, the term to be served in a minimum-security correctional labor facility. She was found guilty of preparing a terrorist blast and getting other persons involved in the act, and acquiring and carrying explosives.

The verdict reads that Murtazaliyeva had intended to blast a moving staircase in the Okhotny Ryad underground trade center on Moscow's Manezhnya square close to the Kremlin.

The court rejected the version that 196 grams of plastic explosives seized from her had been planted on her by police officers.

Murtazaliyeva, 21, was detained in Moscow early last March.

Investigators say she had been trained in a camp as a suicide bomber and came to Moscow to prepare a series of terrorist acts. In Moscow she recruited two local Muslim women to help her carry out the attacks.



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