September 13, 2012 14:54
S. Ossetian investigators probing attack on deputy defense minister
TSKHINVALI. Sept 13 (Interfax) - The South Ossetian Prosecutor General's Office has opened a criminal investigation into the blasting of the door to First Deputy Defense Minister Ibragim Gasseyev's apartment under Criminal Code Article 277, which deals with attempt on the life of a government official or public figure, Prosecutor General Merab Chigoyev told Interfax on Thursday.
"An audacious crime was committed in Tskhinvali last night, namely an attempt on the life of First Deputy Defense Minister of South Ossetia Ibragim Gasseyev. All of the necessary investigative procedures have been carried out to open a criminal case, including the examination of the crime scene and the collection of evidence. Expert analyses will be ordered in the near future," Chigoyev said.
"A group of investigators numbering six people has been set up, which includes officials from the Prosecutor General's Office, Interior Ministry, and State Security Committee. They have already started investigative procedures," he said.
Preliminary findings indicate that the explosion was equivalent to several hundred grams of TNT. "The door to the apartment was metal, but it was literally blown to shreds. The explosive device was attached to the door in a way to cause as much damage inside the apartment as possible. The blast wave damaged other apartments in the home as well," Chigoyev said.
The explosive device was remote-controlled, as nobody was approaching the door or trying to open it at the moment of the blast, Chigoyev said. Gasseyev, his mother and his daughter were in the apartment, and nobody was harmed, he said.
The prosecution services will do all they can to solve the crime and punish those responsible, he said.
Possible theories of the incident will be named following a preliminary investigation, he said. He did not rule out that the attack may have been related to Gasseyev's job.
"This could also be explained by the fact that, after graduation from the [Russian] General Staff Academy, Gasseyev is one of the best-trained South Ossetian military specialists. We cannot rule out that foreign special services could have purposefully plotted an attack on him. Certainly, the investigation will consider all possible theories, including, as I have already said, a possible planned attempt by foreign special services," he said.
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