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Chechen Leader Wins Libel Case Against Russia Rights Group

Memorial Chairman Oleg Orlov was ordered to pay Kadyrov a fine of almost $700.
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has won a lawsuit against a leading Russian human rights group, which was ordered to pay him symbolic damages for accusing him of being behind the murder of one of its activists.

Natalia Estemirova, who worked for rights group Memorial, was abducted near her house in Chechnya on July 15, shot dead, and her body dumped in neighboring Ingushetia.

Kadyrov had sought 10 million rubles ($316,100) in damages from Memorial Chairman Oleg Orlov, who issued a statement saying the Chechen leader was behind Estemirova's murder.

"The court ruled to partly satisfy Kadyrov's lawsuit against rights group Memorial and its chairman," Moscow's Tverskoi district court said in its ruling. It said Memorial must pay Kadyrov 50,000 rubles ($1,677) in damages while Orlov must pay an extra 20,000 rubles ($671). Orlov must also retract his accusation.