Suspect Behind Moscow's Dubrovka Siege Pleads Guilty on Weapons Charges

Vitaly Belousov / TASS

One of the alleged organizers behind the devastating 2002 terror attack on Moscow's Dubrovka Theater has appeared in court to plead guilty on charges of possessing illegal weapons.

Khasan Zakayev pleaded not guilty to all other charges, including involvement in a criminal organization, the preparation for a terrorist attack and aiding in the capture of hostages, the Meduza news website reported Tuesday.

Zakayev was arrested in Moscow in December 2014 after being on the run for 12 years.

The Chechen native is accused of arming the group who stormed the Dubrovka Theater on Oct. 22, 2002, during an evening performance of "Nord-Ost." Nearly 900 people were taken hostage by the group, which demanded the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya.

The siege lasted for more than two days and ended when Russian security services attempted to disarm the terrorists by pumping toxic gas into the building. Some 130 hostages are believed to have died from inhaling the gas.

Six accomplices were jailed between 2003 and 2007.

Zakayev’s next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 24 at the Moscow District Military Court.

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