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Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Asylum for woman who claimed bomb plot

From The Independent:

A woman who claims that the Russian security service orchestrated a deadly bombing campaign against its own people has been granted political asylum in the United States.

Alena Morozova, 28, argued that her life was not safe in Russia because of her role in an investigation into a series of mysterious apartment bombings that claimed the lives of almost 300 people in three Russian cities in 1999.

The authorities have insisted that the bombings, among the worst terror acts in modern Russian history, were the work of Chechen separatists.

But Ms Morozova, who lost her mother and boyfriend in the blasts, has repeatedly claimed the opposite and along with her sister, Tatyana, took part in a film - Disbelief - that questions the official version of events.

People who have tried to investigate the bombings have ended up dead or behind bars. In April 2003, Sergei Yushenkov, deputy chairman of a parliamentary inquiry into the matter, was shot dead in a contract killing. Another MP, Yuri Shekochikhin, who had also been looking into the matter, died later that year in a mysterious food poisoning incident.

Mikhail Trepashkin, a former FSB agent, who claimed to have evidence of security service involvement, was sentenced to four years in prison last year on apparently unrelated charges of disclosing state secrets and illegally possessing ammunition.

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