Medvedev appears to question bin Laden's death
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday appeared to question Washington's account of how Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed by special US forces in Pakistan this month.
Medvedev turned to a reporter from state-run Channel One television, during a press briefing, and asked him about an interview the channel ran the previous evening with a man from Turkey who claimed to have been a former CIA agent.
The Turkish man claimed bin Laden had died of natural causes in 2006 and that the US Navy SEALs had simply found and opened the terror mastermind's grave.
"Today on the Internet, I saw a saw a piece of your interview with some citizen who told a very interesting story about bin Laden. Is it true? No?" Medvedev asked without a hint of a smile.
"According to him, yes," the state television reporter responded.
"In that case, that should make the Americans sit up," Medvedev said.
The reporter then went on to ask an unrelated question and the episode was not picked up by any of Russia's government-run media outlets.
Medvedev had used a formal statement to congratulate the United States on bin Laden's killing only hours of the official announcement of his death on May 1.
But Russia's state media have questioned what they describe as discrepancies in the US account of how bin Laden was killed.
© 2011 AFP