KISLOVODSK, July 29 (RIA Novosti) - The investigation has proven Basayev's involvement in the hostage-taking in Beslan, Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Shepel told a news conference Friday, commenting on ABC's airing of an interview with Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev.
"Basayev told the global community that he was not involved in the Beslan tragedy," Shepel said. "Our investigation proved that it was Basayev who masterminded the terrorist act in Beslan."
In his interview, Basayev justified the hostage-taking on Dubrovka in Moscow and the blasts aboard two Russian planes last year. Regarding the school hostage-taking in Beslan, a town in North Ossetia where 330 people were killed, including 186 children, on September 1-3, 2004, Basayev said he "did not cross the line yet." He openly called himself a terrorist and promised new terrorist acts in the future.
"The hostage-taking at the Beslan school is just a single episode of his criminal activity, and his statement is obviously aimed at improving his image," Shepel said. "We gathered enough evidence and presented it to the court. After reviewing the case, the court issued a warrant for [Basayev's] arrest."