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July 06, 2007
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Russia Found Guilty of Murder
The European Court of Human Rights has found that brigadier general and speaker of the parliament of Ichkeria 1997-1999 Ruslan Alikhadzhiev was kidnapped and murdered by the Russian special services. The court ruled in favor of his mother Zura in her suit and ordered Russia to pay her over И40,000 and court expenses of И3150 and £1000. Ichkerian representatives say that relatives of Dzhokhar Dudaev and Aslan Muskhadov may file suit against Russia in the near future as well. The Chechen prosecutor's office called the decision premature, since the investigation of Alikhadzhiev's kidnapping is still underway.
Men in camouflage with machineguns took Alikhadzhiev and five of his neighbors from their homes in the village of Shali on May 15, 2000. The Chechens put up no resistance, but were bound by the hands and blindfolded and taken in armored cars to Khankala. Several days later, all of them returned except Alikhadzhiev. On May 25, 2000, Gen. Valery Manilov, then deputy chief of staff of the Russian Armed Forces, stated that several field commanders had been taken into custody, including Alikhadzhiev. In September of that year, First Deputy Prosecutor General Yury Biryukov denied the general's statement and said that neither the military nor the police had detained Alikhadzhiev. The Shali District prosecutor's office in Chechnya began a criminal investigation into Alikhadzhiev's kidnapping.

Kirill Koroteev, a lawyer with the Memorial human rights center who represented Zura Alikhadzhieva in the European court, said that the suit was filed in March 2001. The court did not choose to expedite the case and began to hear it in September 2004. Memorial received the 25-page decision in the case yesterday. The court found that several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated in the case, particularly the rights to life, freedom and personal inviolability, as well as the right to effective legal protection. The court also ruled that Alikhadzhiev has been kidnapped by the military and can be considered dead, since there has been no news about him since that time. The treatment of Alikhadzhiev's mother by authorities was found to be inhumane. Zura Alikhadzhieva died of a heart attack in February 2006. The award from the court will go to Alikhadzhiev's widow Zaret.
www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of July 06, 2007

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