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Chechen Leader Sues Newspaper Editor For Libel

Ramzan Kadyrov

Ramzan Kadyrov

MOSCOW -- The Kremlin-appointed president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has filed a lawsuit against the editor in chief of the "Novaya gazeta" newspaper, Dmitry Muratov, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Kadyrov's lawyer Andrei Krasnenkov told journalists on October 6 that some articles printed in "Novaya gazeta" earlier this year gave misleading and false information damaging his client's reputation.

He mentioned several articles about President Kadyrov's possible involvement in the killing of Umar Israilov in Vienna on January 13.

Israilov, 26, was Kadyrov's former bodyguard.

He escaped to Austria in 2006 and referred to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, accusing Kadyrov of the kidnapping and torture of citizens in Chechnya in 2003-05.

The same day, Kadyrov was awarded damages for defamation against the head of the Memorial human rights group, who accused him of being personally responsible for the killing of Chechen human rights activist Natalya Estemirova, who was abducted in Grozny.