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The Russian authorities maintained all but a complete silence on the second anniversary of the Dubrovka theater siege
The Russian authorities maintained all but a complete silence on the second anniversary of the Dubrovka theater siege, when 50 terrorists took 900 spectators and actors hostage at the Nord Ost musical. The attack left 130 people dead. The authorities likewise made almost no mention of the event's first anniversary in 2003. This year, the Moscow Prosecutor's Office only issued a rather short press release updating the public on the progress of investigation. Prosecutors mentioned Prima Bank's involvement in the terrorist attack, which came as big news, writes Vremya Novostei. According to the Prosecutor's Office, the investigation has discovered information about the bank's complicity in financing acts of terrorism and providing other kinds of assistance to terrorists. Investigators chose not to elaborate on who exactly helped the terrorists and how. Prima Bank has already been mentioned as a party to other scandals. Last year, the Central Bank appointed a provisional management to the bank, while in June 2003 it withdrew its license. In August 2003, the bank was declared bankrupt. Prima Bank's first deputy board chairman, Musa Gatiyev, an ethnic Chechen, and one of his employees were later charged with misappropriating over $1 million. Prima Bank's CEO, Pulat Usmanov, and Mukharbek Barkinkhoyev, chairman of the Board of Directors, are currently under investigation. The former is believed to have bankrupted his bank on purpose, while the latter is alleged to have beaten up the Central Bank-appointed bankruptcy administrator. However, the news came as a surprise to the security services and ex-Prima Bank executives. They had been unaware of the bank's link to the theater siege. Prosecutors earlier said it had cost Shamil Basayev $40,000 to organize the attack.
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