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10.06.2011
source:
Associated Press

Head of Memorial Oleg Orlov strikes back at Chechen strongman

   

A Russian human rights activist facing a defamation lawsuit filed by Chechnya's Moscow-backed ruler has told a court he continues to hold the official responsible for a high-profile murder in 2009.

Oleg Orlov, head of the respected Memorial rights group, told the Moscow court Thursday that he stands by his accusations against Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
Orlov said that he considers Kadyrov responsible for the fatal shooting of Chechen rights activist Natalya Estemirova.

The activist say he has never claimed that Kadyrov ordered the killing, but Orlov again accused the leader on Thursday of creating a climate of fear and violence in Chechnya that led to Estemirova's death.

Orlov faces up to three years in prison, if convicted of defamation, but prosecutors only have requested a fine equivalent to $5, 400.

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