Former Makhachkala Mayor On Trial On Murder, Terrorism Charges

The trial has begun of the former mayor of Makhachkala, the capital of Russia's restive North Caucasus republic of Daghestan.

Said Amirov is charged with involvement in plotting an attack against an unnamed Daghestani official using a missile launcher and of organizing the 2011 murder of Investigative Committee official Arsen Gadzhibekov.

Amirov denies the charges.

The North Caucasus Regional Military Court in the city of Rostov-on-Don has beefed up security measures. The court building is surrounded by security forces.

Dozens of Amirov's relatives and supporters are attending the proceedings.  

Amirov, 60, was Makhachkala’s first elected mayor in 1998.

He has survived more than a dozen assassination attempts, one of which, in 1993, left him paralyzed and wheelchair-bound.