Dubai's Chief of Police Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim announced that the investigation into Sulim Yamadayev's assassination has identified both the killers and those who hired them. Yamadayev, a former Chechen separatist who later became commander of Russia's Vostok battalion,was awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation medal. Citizens of Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Iran have been charged in connection with the murder; a representative in Russia's parliament is among the accused.
According to police in Dubai where Yamadayev was living when he was assassinated on March 28, the investigation has identified the perpetrators as Iranian Mahdi Lornia, Tajik Makhsud Dzhan, Kazakh Salman Kimayev and Russians Zelimkhan Mazayev and Turbal Kimayev. Tamim emphasised that he believes neither Iran nor Iranian spies were behind the killing.
Law enforcement officials did not say who among the accused pulled the trigger on the 36-year old retired commander. But the investigation did identify the person believed to have ordered the hit, Adam Delimkhanov, a close associate and relative of Chechnya's President Ramzan Kadyrov and the Chechen representative in Russia's federal legislature. The police believe that Delimkhanov used his bodyguard to pass a gold-plated pistol through a diplomatic pouch to the assassins.
Delimkhanov has called the accusations a provocation and has threatened to sue the Dubai police. He has a supporter in Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who sees the accusations levelled at his associate as a personal attack. Kadyrov countered by alleging that Yamadayev was involved in the murder of his father, the former Chechen President Akhmat Kadyrov, who was killed by a bomb during Victory Day celebrations in Grozny in 2004.
In response to the flying accusations, the Dubai police have offered to bring in international investigators but stand by the allegations against the accused. Tamim claimed that the Dubai police have irrefutable evidence against all of those charged in the crime. "We have no doubt that this killing was organised in Chechnya", the general said. "This is one part of an internal power struggle in the Chechen Republic that has spilled beyond its boundaries. There will be no immunity afforded to those who planned or carried out the murder, and we intend to put out a warrant through Interpol for his [Delimkhanov's] arrest."
Kazakh Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson Ernur Uali said the country’s criminal investigators are working to determine whether Salman Kimayev is a Kazakh citizen.