Source A contract killing in a fitness center is considered almost self-defense by the convict's defense. The Moscow City Court sentenced Azerbaijani citizen Matlab Sultanov to 16 years in a strict regime colony, who shot dead his most authoritative countryman, thief in law Ali Heydarov (Albert Ryzhiy) last spring. The court recognized the murder as ordered and committed as part of the struggle of criminal clans for control over the wholesale supply of products to Moscow. The killer himself categorically denies the fee allegedly received by him for the thief and, possibly, will appeal the verdict in this part. According to the convict, he and Ryzhiy had been hunting each other for a long time due to “acute personal hostility” and he was just lucky that he managed to shoot first.
As a result of the proceedings, which took only a few meetings, Matlab Sultanov was found guilty of murder for hire as part of a group, illegal arms trafficking and the use of forged documents (part 2 of article 105, article 222 and article 327 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). For these crimes, the court sentenced him to 16 years of strict regime. In addition, according to the claim of the injured party, he will have to pay 2 million rubles.
According to the Main Investigative Directorate of the ICR in Moscow, which investigated the high-profile crime, Sultanov and his two likely accomplices carefully prepared for the crime and assigned roles. The killer Sultanov established surveillance of the future victim in advance and studied the lifestyle of Ali Heydarov. He rented an apartment in the Scarlet Sails residential complex on Aviation Street, where the thief in law lived, and bought a subscription to the fitness center where Ryzhiy trained. Finally, “in order to ensure conspiracy,” he acquired a fake passport of a Russian citizen issued under a false name and acquired a Glock pistol, with which he went to work. The thief in law was shot dead during a training session on April 12 last year. The killer left the LCD without hindrance, but the very next day he was detained, and then taken into custody.
The motive for the crime, as suggested by the investigation and confirmed by the Moscow City Court, was “the redistribution of the spheres of tacit influence over the objects of wholesale trade in food and industrial goods in Moscow and the Moscow region.” in a separate proceeding, and they themselves were charged in absentia, arrested by the court and put on the wanted list.
The version about the contract nature of the murder was apparently allowed to be put forward by the investigators with a fake Russian passport of an Azerbaijani citizen Sultanov, issued to a certain Taleh Namik oglu Orujov. The owner of the document, according to the State Investigation Department of the ICR, could be a participant in a protracted war between criminal clans for control over wholesale deliveries of products to the capital region, going mainly through the Food City agricultural cluster on Kaluga Highway. Approximately six months before the assassination attempt on Aviation Station in Turkey, the main contender for the role of the shadow owner of Food City, kingpin Nadir Salifov (Lotu Guli), was shot dead. His brother Namik Salifov (Namik Bakinsky), having suspected Albert Ryzhy of this crime, publicly made it clear that he would avenge his relative, therefore the “pseudonym” chosen by the killer in the passport, meaning literally “Fate is in the hands of Namik”, clearly indicated the reason for the massacre.
Meanwhile, it turned out to be difficult to convincingly prove the version put forward, primarily because the alleged customer of the murder has long been living in Turkey. The probable accomplices of the performer also disappeared there.
Salman Rzayev, the lawyer of the convict, explained to Kommersant that his client was detained shortly after the crime and in the very first days of the investigation he admitted his guilt in the murder of Ali Heydarov. Matlab Sultanov, according to his lawyer, answered all the questions of the investigator, participated in confrontations and voluntarily indicated the place where he hid the weapon after the action. However, his client, according to the lawyer, categorically disagreed with the conclusions of the investigation and the court about the contract nature of the murder. Matlab Sultanov claims that no one ordered him to thief Heydarov and he did not receive any money for the action in the fitness club.
According to the defense, the conflict between the shooter and his victim arose long ago and some Ali Heydarov's unflattering statement about the sister of Matlab Sultanov. The men failed to resolve the consequences of this conversation, and bosom buddies became bitter enemies. Suffice it to say that just a year before his death, Albert Ryzhiy, serving a seven-year sentence for robbery, found time to call his former friend and remind him: “I’ll quit right away when I get out!” Matlab Sultanov, according to his defender, answered in the same vein: “We'll see who gets there first.” Thus, according to lawyer Sultanov, it is still unknown how the fate of his client would have developed if he had not prepared in advance for the release of the thief.
The lawyer explained that, despite disagreeing with the qualification of the crime, they will decide to appeal the verdict only after studying the reasoning part of the court decision.