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Russian Imam Arrested For Organizing Imam's Murder

Ismail Bostanov was killed in September

Ismail Bostanov was killed in September

KISLOVODSK, Russia -- An imam at a Kislovodsk mosque has been arrested on charges of organizing the murder of Imam Ismail Bostanov in Karachayevo-Cherkessia, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Ismail Haji Berdiev, the mufti of Karachayevo-Cherkessia and Stavropol Krai, said the unnamed 38-year-old imam was arrested by police at the Mineralnye Vody airport on December 27.

According to a preliminary investigation, the imam organized the murder of Bostanov, which was allegedly committed by three residents of Karachayevo-Cherkessia who were arrested on December 18.

Bostanov, the rector of the Islamic Institute and deputy chairman of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims in Karachayevo-Cherkessia and Stavropol Krai, was shot dead in his car on September 20 in the city of Cherkessk.

He was known to be moderate and was loyal to the government, something that angered more fundamentalist Islamic adherents.