Three get life terms for Moscow airport bombing that killed 37

MOSCOW - A Moscow region court on Monday sentenced three men to life in prison for their roles in a 2011 suicide bombing attack on a major Russian airport that killed 37 people.

The January 2011 Domodedovo International Airport strike was claimed by the Caucasus Emirate movement of Islamist warlord Doku Umarov.

The rebel commander is seeking to establish an Islamist republic in Russia's volatile North Caucasus in the south of the country and has threatened to disrupt next year's Winter Olympic Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Russian authorities established the identity of the suicide bomber as Magomed Yevloyev -- a member of a militant group that answers to Umarov. Investigators said that his attack was plotted at a camp in Ingushetia run by a Caucasus Emirate leader Aslan Byutukayev.

The Moscow regional court ordered Yevloyev's brother Akhmed, who was accused together with Bashir Khamkoyev of hosting Yevloyev in the city of Nazran, providing him with money and putting him on a bus to Moscow, to serve a 10-year sentence in a standard-regime penal colony.

The Interfax news agency reported from the courtroom that Akhmed Yevloyev denied knowing his brother had planned to attack the Moscow airport.

Three others - brothers Islam and Ilez Yandiyev and Khamkhoyev -- received life sentences in maximum security penal colonies on terrorism and other charges.

The brothers had met Yevloyev upon arrival in Moscow and organised his transportation and lodging in the capital, the Investigative Committee said.

Interfax said that Islam Yandiyev acknowledged his role in the attack and asked the court for forgiveness while Khamkhoyev denied his guilt.

The report did not mention Ilez Yandiyev's plea.