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Moscow Court Prepares For Chechen President's Lawsuit

Oleg Orlov
Oleg Orlov
MOSCOW -- A court in Moscow has begun its preparations ahead of hearing a lawsuit filed by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov against a human rights activist, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Kadyrov is suing the head of the Memorial human rights center, Oleg Orlov, who accused him of being behind the murder of prominent rights activist Natalya Estemirova.

Kadyrov accuses Orlov of "insulting his honor and dignity" and is demanding a public apology and the equivalent of $316,000 in compensation.

Estemirova, who worked for Memorial, was found shot dead in Ingushetia last month, just hours after she was kidnapped in the Chechen capital, Grozny.

Orlov has said he meant Kadyrov was politically responsible for Estemirova's murder.

The pre-hearing preparations that began on August 31 will decide which judge will hear the case and when the hearings will start.