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    QATAR: COURT TO TAKE UP RUSSIAN CONVICTS' APPEAL OCTOBER OR LATER

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    DUBAI, July 15 (RIA Novosti) - The Qatari court will not hear two Russian nationals' appeal before October, what with an upcoming two-month vacation.

    The men were convicted for life, June 30. The defence has applied to the Court of Appeal, a Russian ambassadorial officer in Doha said in a telephone interview with Novosti.

    The Russians were convicted for involvement in the assassination of Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, once Chechen separatist leader. He and his family spent the preceding three years in Doha. Yandarbiev had a refugee status, and had pledged not to engage in politics. He died in a Doha car blast, February 13.

    Secret service officers seized the two men, who were in Qatar on mission, in the small hours February 19. They were indicted for premeditated murder.

    The verdict is highly disputable, and the sentence lacks whatever legal proof of guilt, Muhsen al-Suwaidi, chief of defence, said to the media after the trial. He insists on his clients' innocence, and hopes the Court of Appeal will vindicate them or, at least, mitigate the sentence.

    Russia will recur to all political and diplomatic means at its disposal to have the convicts back home, Igor Ivanov, federal Security Council Secretary, said in a statement.

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