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Criminal proceedings launched against Russian citizen involved in armed actions in Syria

Chechen investigators have instituted criminal proceedings against a resident of the South Caucasian republic, Shakhid Temirbulatov, upon his participation in illegal armed formations on the territory of Syria, the Chechen Prosecutor's Office reported on Thursday.

"It was found out that in July 2013 the Russian citizen, who was in the territory of Syria, had joined armed formations in a country, which was not envisioned by Syria's legislation, and taken part in armed actions against the government troops, i .e. he acted for the benefit that run counter the Russian Federation's interests," the prosecutor's office said.

The prosecutor's office recognized this decision as legitimate and founded and took the investigation under its control. "Earlier, the Chechen prosecutor stressed that it was necessary to step up investigation activities in order to reveal facts of Russian citizens' participation in the armed conflict in Syria," the prosecutor's office said.

In September, 2013 Federal Security Service (FSB) first deputy director Sergei Smirnov said at least 300-400 mercenaries would be able to return to Russia from Syria.

"As for our country, we believe that at least 300-400 people, who went to Syria, will be able to return home. They'll return, of course. And their return poses a big threat," Smirnov said.

"We think that they took part in armed actions and gained experience. Thus, they follow terrorism's ideology and they are ready for open actions," the FSB deputy director said.

Russia made amendments to the Criminal Code on November 14, 2013 under which Russian citizens, who take part in armed conflicts abroad, were liable to criminal proceedings. They can face six years' imprisonment.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 09Jan14]

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