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Dubai Open To International Probe Of Chechen Death

Sulim Yamadayev (right) and Adam Delimkhanov, undated

Sulim Yamadayev (right) and Adam Delimkhanov, undated

DUBAI (Reuters) -- Dubai police have proposed an international probe into the shooting of a prominent Chechen exile, after Chechnya's leader dismissed accusations his top adviser was behind the assassination in the Persian Gulf emirate.

"If the Chechen leader is not convinced by the results of Dubai police's investigation and considers the accusations against Adam Delimkhanov not objective, we suggest involving an international team of investigators to examine our findings," Dubai police chief Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said in a statement.

Sulim Yamadayev, a foe of Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, was shot on March 28 in the car park of a luxury seaside apartment block in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Dubai police named Delimkhanov, Kadyrov's close adviser, as the person who masterminded the murder. Delimkhanov has denied any involvement.

Kadyrov on April 6 rejected the accusations by Dubai police, saying they were "not based on any objective facts".

"It is a clear provocation which is aimed at discrediting Russia and the Chechen leadership," he said in a statement.

Kadyrov, 32, has served the Kremlin by calming the mostly Muslim province, which has fought two separatist wars against Moscow since 1991.

But human rights activists have warned that Kadyrov has constructed an authoritarian system in Chechnya and that the Kremlin may one day find it hard to control him.

Kadyrov's spokesman has dismissed any suggestion that the killing of Yamadayev, once one of Chechnya's most powerful men, was linked to the Chechen president.

Yamadayev, a former rebel who switched sides and backed the Kremlin, had challenged Kadyrov for control of local security forces until last year, when he was dismissed from command of an elite battalion and forced to flee.

He was commander of the Vostok battalion, a unit of battle-hardened former rebels that was linked to Russia's powerful military intelligence agency, the GRU.