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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 April, 2005, 18:38 GMT 19:38 UK
Chechen held over Britons' deaths
Chechen suspect Adam Dzhabrailov (pic: Russia TV)
Russian TV showed Adam Dzhabrailov in detention
Russian security forces say they have captured a Chechen man who has admitted participating in the kidnap and murder of three Britons and a New Zealander.

The four victims' severed heads were found next to a road in December 1998. Three had been working for the UK firm Granger Telecom in war-torn Chechnya.

The sister of victim Darren Hickey said she was pleased people were being brought to justice for the murders.

"But at the end of the day he is still dead," Deborah Hickey said.

In remarks broadcast on Russian TV the suspect, Adam Dzhabrailov, said he was in a kidnap gang led by Arbi Barayev, who was killed four years ago.

Britons Darren Hickey and Rudi Petschi
Darren Hickey (l) and Rudi Petschi were two of four engineers killed

"Arbi shot them dead," he said.

Mr Dzhabrailov, 31, was detained on Monday. He is also being questioned about the 1996 murder of six Red Cross workers in Chechnya.

According to Russian TV, the gang had demanded a $3m ransom for the four telecoms engineers - Britons Rudi Petschi, 42, of Cullompton, Devon; Mr Hickey, 26, of Thames Ditton, Surrey; New Zealander Stan Shaw, 58, who all worked for Weybridge-based Granger and Peter Kennedy, 46, from Hereford who worked for British Telecom. They were kidnapped in October 1998.

Mr Hickey's sister Deborah, 26, said: "It's nice to know someone will go to a court for what happened, it's good to know people are being brought to justice for it, but at the end of the day he is still dead and this is not going to bring him back.

"I would like people to be punished for the crime in whatever way they do in Chechnya, but I'm Catholic and I don't believe in the death penalty."

She said their mother, Maura, was interested in meeting those responsible to "know a bit more about what happened".

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"She feels if she could express to them how much pain and misery they have caused us it might help, although I think they might not care.

"I don't think it (a meeting) will happen, it's just a wish she's expressed," Ms Hickey added.

She said memories of her brother's death were constant.

"What happened is part of my life. We live with it every day."

Since December 1994, Russian forces and their Chechen allies have been fighting separatist guerrillas in Chechnya.

Kidnappings for ransom are common in the devastated North Caucasus republic.




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