Aslan Usoyan

Aslan Usoyan, or Ded Hassan (“Grandpa Hassan”), was shot and killed in Moscow January 16, 2013.

TBILISI, DFWatch — The body of a mafia boss who was killed in Moscow was on a plane to Georgia to be buried, but had to be sent back after Tbilisi refused to let it in.

Aslan Usoyan, better known as Ded Hassan (Grandpa Hassan), a 76 year-old mafia boss was shot in the head by a sniper as he left a restaurant in Moscow on January 16. He was taken to a hospital where he died the same day. During the shooting, one restaurant employee was also shot. She is still receiving treatment at a hospital.

The niece of the deceased mafioso, Aslana Usoyana, told journalists January 18 that the body Ded Hasan was being flied to Tbilisi to be buried. It was sent by special business class from Moscow to Tbilisi through Donetsk.

“People are coming from all corners of the world to say goodbye to him,” the niece told journalists. She added that a Georgian mafia member, Tariel Oniani, is suspected of having ordered the murder.

The plane with the body of Ded Hassan turned back to Moscow in Donetsk, as Tbilisi refused to let it enter, Russian media reported January 19. The body might be buried at Danilovsky cemetery in Moscow, representatives of law enforcement told Interfax.

The family of the murdered blamed Georgian officials for refusing to let the body in. Relatives were awaiting the body in Tbilisi. The widow and daughter of Usoyan live in Georgia, and were planning to bury him at Kukia Cemetery in Tbilisi, next to his parents.

Despite the fact that body didn’t arrive in Georgia, a funeral procession was held in Tbilisi Saturday morning. A journalist for Interpressnews reports that relatives of the deceased had gathered at his house in Tbilisi.

Relatives report that the widow and daughter have left for Moscow for the burial.

Russian media reported that Russian law enforcers suspected Georgian criminal clans to have ordered the murder, a possible reason being a conflict with a Georgian clan dating back to 2009.

Aslan Usoyan was born in Georgia on February 27, 1937, and was considered to be a leading figure in Russian criminal circles. He became a member of the Russian mafia, a “thief in law”, after three convictions in 1966-1968.

He had been the target of murder attempts twice before, in 1998 and 2010.