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First Russian Hearing Begins For Accused Islamic Separatist Commander

A screen grab of Ali Taziyev, also known as Magas, in custody in Moscow after his detention by police in June 2010.
A preliminary court hearing has begun in Russia's North Caucasus for one of the top lieutenants to the Islamic insurgency's leader there, Doku Umarov.

On April 29, the regional court in Rostov-On-Don took up the case of Ali Taziyev, an ethnic Ingush also known as Magas.

Taziyev was arrested in 2010 and is charged with involvement in 24 terrorism-related incidents.

He is accused of masterminding and organization of attempted assassination in 2009 of Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, the leader of Russia's Republic of Ingushetia.

Umarov proclaimed an independent Islamic state, Imarat Kavkaz (The Caucasus Emirate), in the North Caucasus in 2007.

Umarov appointed Taziyev the state's top military commander.

Based on reporting by, RIA-Novosti, and Interfax