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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yamadayev Murder Suspects Plead Not Guilty

Two suspects in the Dubai killing of Sulim Yamadayev, a bitter foe of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, entered not guilty pleas in court Monday.

Iranian national Mahdi Larnia and Tajik citizen Makshud Jan appeared in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance to face charges of "plotting murder" and "aiding and abetting" the attackers of Yamadayev.

Dubai police say Yamadayev, a Chechen commander and recipient of the Hero of Russia award, was shot dead near his luxury home on March 28 in the first political killing on Dubai soil.

"Not guilty," said Larnia in Persian and Jan said in Russian as they faced Judge Hamad Abdul Latif Abdul Jawad, reported.

Dubai police detained the two in April and said four other suspects fled the country, including Kadyrov's relative and State Duma Deputy Adam Delimkhanov. Dubai police accuse Delimkhanov of masterminding the killing and have issued a warrant through Interpol for his arrest.

Delimkhanov has denied wrongdoing, and Kadyrov has accused Dubai police of trying to discredit Russia with the allegations.

Larnia was a caretaker for Kadyrov's racehorses in the United Arab Emirates. Kadyrov has said that at the time of Yamadayev's killing, Larnia was at a horse race and the two repeatedly spoke by telephone.

Yamadayev's brother Isa, meanwhile, has maintained that his brother was injured in the attack and remains alive. The Dubai charges do not specify whether the suspects are being tried for a murder or an attempted murder.

Isa Yamadayev was attacked in his Moscow apartment July 28 in an incident that he has linked to the Dubai case. Investigators have detained a suspect in the Moscow attack.

Sulim Yamadayev and his other two brothers, Ruslan and Badrudi, headed a powerful clan that fell out with Kadyrov after enjoying warm relations with Kadyrov's father, former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, who was assassinated in Grozny in 2004.

Ruslan Yamadayev, a former State Duma deputy from Chechnya and member of United Russia, was gunned down in central Moscow last September.

The Dubai trial is to resume Oct. 5.