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Russia charges two police officials over Beslan school hostage crisis

[JURIST] The Supreme Court in the Russian federal republic of Kabardino-Balkaria filed criminal negligence charges Wednesday against two police officers who headed a police department in the neighboring federal republic of Ingushetia [official website] for allegedly failing to prevent the terrorists responsible for the 2004 Beslan hostage seizure [JURIST news archive; BBC backgrounder] from setting camps in their jurisdiction. The court said that police chief Mukhazhir Yevloyev and deputy chief Akhmed Kotiyev have pleaded not guilty, although it did not explain why the court was responsible for trying officials from another federal republic.

In May, a Russian court granted amnesty to three deputy police chiefs charged with criminal negligence [JURIST reports] in connection with their conduct during the crisis. Prosecutors had alleged that the police officers, who pleaded not guilty [JURIST report], failed to raise security levels despite warnings about the possibility of attacks in the region. Victims rights groups such as Mothers of Beslan [Wikipedia backgrounder] have argued that the government has ignored and covered up failures by the law enforcement agencies involved in the siege and rescue operation. AP has more.

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