On the 26th day of February 2009, another murder case was added to the previous Chechen Murders. Chechen commander Ali Osaev who resisted the Russians for a long time was killed in front of his house in Zeytinburnu. This is the third operation of the series of Chechen murders. Before, Gazhi Edilsultanov and Islam Canibekov were murdered in a similar way.
After Ali Osaev; Berkhaz Musaevi, Rustam Altemirov and Zevrek Amriev came to the same conclusion in Zeytinburnu. Medet Önlü, Ankara honorary consul of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, was also assasinated in front of his office in May 2013. Two years later, Georgy Kamayev was shot in a similar way in Basaksehir, Istanbul.
Most of these murders are still unsolved. Some of the detected murderers is never caught. People started to wonder whether the murder events are obfuscated and a killer changed the scenario. He is such a suitable profile for a killer who has a dark past and interesting networks. His code name is Zona, means the Ghost.
Nobody knows his real name. He is using various passaports and infiltrated into Turkey with different identities. He sometimes masquerda as Temur Makhauri, sometimes Ruslan Papaskiri. His other names were Ali Dubaev and Timaev Ruslan Beshirovich. Zona could enter Turkey 65 times for last 5 years.
His last entrance with fake passport occurred from Artvin Sarp Bordergate on 13th October 2012. He went Syria for fighting with the revolutionists against Assad regime forces, and came back Turkey from Reyhanlı, the border town of Hatay, after he fought about a month in Syria.
On 16 November 2012, police department had such a denunciation: “I will inform on a subject. The murderer who killed three Chechen commanders last year, and previous two Chechens is Ruslan Papaskiri whose code name is Zona. He uses fake identity and passport. He for example uses the code name of Temur Makhuri. He is very dangerous. Could have a gun. He is 35-40, tall. He is now in Istanbul.”
After this denunciation, the very same day Zona was taken into custody in Ataturk Airport. He was accused of the murder of Chechen commander Ali Osaev on 26 February 2009. In the search of his house, it was found 8.600 dollar, 7.955 euro, 9.860 TL, 3 Sig Saver guns, 6 clips, 2 military camouflage, 16 sleeping bags. There were also tickets of Istanbul-Cairo (flight number MS736) and Cairo-Hurgada (flight number MS343).
Zona used the right to remain silent in the police headquarter. He just said he is nothing with the Chechen murders.
Turkish security units have such an intellegence (and then presented to prosecution office as well): “He was intelligence officer of Chechenia while Samil Basayev was alive. With the influence of Ahmedov Cemaati, he contacted with Georgian intelligence (Maktul). Even if Ali Osaev consider Zona responsible for the explosion of Basayev’s car since he was the one who brought the car, he pay Zona 1000 dollar montly because of his works in Georgia. Zona continued to be a guest of Osaev’s house in his Turkey visits. The very person who brought Mercedes car and Groza gun, two silencers and remote-controlled bomb is nobody else but Zona.”
Zona got in touch with Sandro who is in charge in the Terror Center of Georgia Intelligence. After the request of Georgian authority, he contacted with FSB agent Bashir Kusktov on 5 July 2012 in Kumkapı/İstanbul. He was carrying a hidden camera and the meeting was completely recorded. He claims he was trying to learn future assassinations of FSB and tell them to the Georgians.
For the murder of Chechen commander Ali Osaev, An eyewitness Ş.E. who was coincidentally passing there said in his statement that he saw someone 1.75-1.80, white mustache, stubbly beard, chubby face, Caucasian killed Osaev. After the capture of Zona, this eyewitness must be shown once again to identify the person. This witness was in the T type prison of Silivri because of a petty crime. The police had a talk with him in the office of head officer and showed him the picture. Ş.E. said, “Even if it is not sharp clear, the killer is this guy.” After this statement, Ş.E. was evacuated.
Police departmant also had the video records of the moment of Ali Osaev’s murder. But the murderer’s face was not clear. And the second proof police has was dated on the day of the funeral on 28 February 2009. There on the photos from the police, there was a person who has pulled his hat down and stand the collar of his jacket up, and visible only by his eyes. Police was sure that the man on the photos was Zona. İt was transcribed in to the summary of proceedings in this way. İn the indictment of the law suit, it was explained in such a way that says: “in the funeral that he participated with his friends, he felt the need to hide his face which is related to his fear of being recognized, and because of the feeling of guilt.
The Chechenia law suit that Zona is a suspect Started in 2012 and finished in 2016. During the court, the defendant’s lawyers posed documents that prove Zona to be in Georgia on the day of the murder. One of the documents that took part in the court file was dated on 28 February on which the funeral prayer was done. Zona who came to Turkey for participating Osaev’s funeral was detained and he was deported to Georgia with a document regarding him to be “unacceptable passanger”. This means that according to formal registrations, he had never participated to the funeral.
At the end of the trial, the court has concluded that there is no certain and credible evidence found that shows Zona has committed murder. Therefore, Zona was acquitted.
Zona suffered her 4 years in prison and with the support of Georgian secret service she went to Ukraine, the country which had troubles with Russian separatist militia. With the approval of Ukranian government, she has started preparation of forming a troop/union consisting Chechens in order to fight against Russian separatists who took hold of Luhanks and Donetsk. In this period, she was taken under custody by the Ukranian police due to carrying unlicensed weapon but she was soon released.
And, a few days ago she died with a remote controlled bomb that was placed in her car while she was holding discussions for Luhanks operation. She was murdered with the same way that the Head of Ukranian Military Intelligence Office, Colonel Maksim Şapalov was assassinated just two months ago. The video record that she tells what happened to her before she died is still missing.
The stormy life of Zona from Georgian mountains to Caucasions, from Syria to Turkey has ended in an exploded and burned car wreck in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Yet, Chechen murders are still remaining as a black hole in the history.
Translator: Oguzhan Dursun