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Moscow Court Remands Eighth Suspect in Concert Hall Attack

Alisher Kasimov.

A Moscow court on Tuesday remanded an eighth suspect in connection to the deadly concert hall attack outside the Russian capital late last week.

Alisher Kasimov, a 32-year-old Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan, is accused of renting out his Moscow region apartment to four suspected gunmen behind the mass shooting at the Crocus City Hall music venue.

“Do you understand the charges against you?” the independent broadcaster Sota quoted the judge asking Kasimov.

“I rented out an apartment on Avito,” Kasimov said, referring to the popular Russian classifieds website.

The Basmanny District Court judge then ordered the hearing to continue behind closed doors and later remanded Kasimov into custody until May 22, according to the independent news website Mediazona.

The exact charges against him are unknown.

The anonymous Telegram channel 112, which is said to have links to Russian law enforcement agencies, claimed it found Kasimov’s online ad renting out the apartment “exclusively to Slavs,” a common discriminatory practice in Russia. 

When asked by journalists why he ended up renting out his apartment to non-ethnic Russians, Kasimov’s mother said they had offered “good money,” according to Mediazona. 

Both Kasimov and his mother maintained that they were unaware of the alleged shooters’ motives, the outlet reported.

Kasimov is a dual Russian-Kyrgyz citizen, according to the investigative news outlet Agentstvo, which cites his leaked personal data.

Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Ministry later said that Kasimov had renounced his Kyrgyz citizenship in 2014.

Russian authorities have detained 11 people in connection to Friday's attack, which saw four camouflaged gunmen storm into Crocus City Hall, open fire indiscriminately and set the building ablaze, killing at least 139 people.

Since Sunday, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court has ordered eight suspects in the concert hall attack case to be placed in custody until May 22.

In addition to the four gunmen accused of terrorism, three of the suspects charged with aiding and abetting terrorism include the previous owner of the getaway car used in the attack, as well as his brother and his father.

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