The trial of nine people including B.Khurts, the controversial former director of Mongolian’s General Intelligence Agency (GIA) and former Attorney General G.Erdenebat concluded yesterday (22 July) at the Tuv Province Criminal Court after five days of hearings. B.Khurts was sentenced to three years in prison for using torture to obtain confessions in the investigation of the murder of politician S.Zorig and others.
The ex-spy-chief has been accused of breaching the laws on intelligence procedures by using torture to obtain confessions from defendants of the much-publicised murder case of the politician S.Zorig.
Following an investigation lasting two decades – in which there have been accusations of cover-ups and during which numerous people, including the victim’s wife, have been detained – Ts.Amgalanbaatar and two others were sentenced to 24-25 years in prison for the murder of S.Zorig, who was one of the heroes of Mongolia’s peaceful transition to democracy and a likely future prime-minister.
In 2003 B.Khurts organized a covert operation to kidnap Enkhbat Damiran from a restaurant in the French city of Le Havre, from where he was taken via Belgium to the Mongolian Embassy in Berlin, where he was drugged and returned to Mongolia. Here E.Damiran was subject to torture including being beaten in the liver with a pistol and an alleged mock execution in order to confess to the murder of S.Zorig; he died in custody. In September 2010 B.Khurts was arrested in London and put in Wandsworth Prison under a European Arrest Warrant issued by the German Government. Subsequently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed him to return to Mongolia. Although, Ulaanbaatar issued an official apology for the E,Damiran abduction, B.Khurts continued to play an active public role and was considered for a diplomatic appointment.