Two Chechen hijackers get prison terms in Saudi kingdom
Two Chechens who hijacked a Russian plane to the western Saudi city of Medina last year have been sentenced by an Islamic court to five and six years in prison, a diplomatic source said Wednesday. The hijackers, Leriskhan Arsaiev and Deni Magomerzaiev, were arrested when Saudi special forces stormed the hijacked plane in March 2001, AFP said.
The source could not specify which man received which sentence in last week's hearing in Medina. The two men, who had no legal representation during the hearing, are currently serving their jail sentence in the city, the source added.
Saudi Arabia has ignored a Russian request to extradite the two men because the two countries have no extradition treaty between them. A Russian hostess and a Turkish passenger died when Saudi special forces stormed the plane on March 16, a day after three hijackers commandeered the aircraft on a flight from Istanbul to Moscow, and forced it to land in Medina.
They were demanding an end to the Russian offensive in Chechnya. The third hijacker, Soupian Arsaiev, was also killed during the operation to free about 120 passengers aboard the Vnoukovo Airlines plane. (Albawaba.com)
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