Nurpashi Kulayev

10 February 2006 :

Deputy Prosecutor-General Nikolai Shepel asked judges to pass the death penalty on the sole surviving hostage-taker from the 2004 Beslan school massacre that killed more than 300 people, half of them children.
Shepel told the terrorism trial of Nurpashi Kulayev in Vladikavkaz, southern Russia, that execution was the only appropriate punishment.
"The court's decision should have a sobering effect on those who want to go down the path of terrorism, so they know their only future is an unmarked grave," state-run RTR television showed Shepel saying in the courtroom.
Fighters sympathetic to a separatist rebellion in Russia's Chechnya region seized Beslan's School No. 1 on the first day of the school year. The siege turned into a bloodbath when security forces tried to rescue the hostages.
Kulayev, a Chechen, had said he was among the hostage-takers but denied responsibility for any deaths. Russian officials said all the other hostage-takers were killed.
Some Russian politicians had said the moratorium on the death penalty should be lifted for Kulayev.
President Vladimir Putin had not made public his position on this. But he said during the week that he was preparing to submit some proposals on the death penalty to parliament. He gave no other details. Putin also said the United States and other countries carry out the death penalty "(and) no one hesitates to call them civilised bastions of democracy."

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