Vienna court wants to question Kadyrov over dissident murder

19th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Vienna court said Friday it wanted to question Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov by video conference concerning the murder of Chechen dissident Umar Israilov.

Three men are on trial in connection with the murder and the presiding judge asked the defendants' attorney Rudolf Mayer on Friday to determine whether Kadyrov would be prepared to testify to the court by video conference, after Mayer had called for his questioning.

According to Austrian police, Kadyrov ordered the kidnapping of Israilov, who was murdered on a Vienna street in January 2009.

Three men -- Turpal Ali Yesherkayev, Suleiman Dadayev and Otto Kaltenbrunner -- were charged with complicity to murder, associating with criminals, and attempted delivery of an individual to a foreign power, for which they face possible life sentences.

At the start of their trial on Tuesday, chief prosecutor Leopold Bien said Kadyrov had ordered the kidnapping with the explicit proviso that 27-year-old Umar Israilov must be killed if he resisted.

Bien however conceded there was not sufficient evidence to prove the Chechen president's involvement.

Israilov, a former member of Kadyrov's security forces who defected and sought asylum in Austria, was gunned down near his Vienna flat on January 13, 2009.

The man believed to have pulled the trigger, Lecha Bogatirov, is still on the run.

© 2010 AFP

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