MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – During pleadings in a South Russian court, prosecutors requested that North Caucasus militant warlord Ali Taziyev be jailed for 25 years instead of life sentence, Russia’s Kommersant daily reported on Thursday.

Taziyev, a former police officer, allegedly switched sides and joined North Caucasus militants to become one of the top leaders of the Imarat Kavkaz militant group and second in command in that organization after terrorist leader Doku Umarov.

Taziyev, known as "Magas," has been accused of 24 terrorist attacks in a case involving over 600 victims and over 400 witnesses. His charges include 15 different articles of the Criminal Code, such as setting up illegal armed groups, organizing an armed riot, illegal arms dealing, weapon manufacturing, homicide, terrorism, and attacking a law enforcement official.

The investigators believe that Taziyev has masterminded, planned and directed terrorist acts and attacks against individuals and companies and has financed attacks and recruited fighters.

Taziyev's gangs are thought to have blown up a commuter bus in southern town of Nevinnomyssk in December 2007, killing three people and injuring 17, and to have bombed the Nazran District police department in Russia's Republic of Ingushetia in August 2009, killing 21 and injuring 289). They are also suspected of trying to assassinate the region's leader, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. Two of his bodyguards were killed in the attack, while Yevkurov and one other person were injured.