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Dubai police confident of Chechen politician's role in killing


MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) - Dubai police said on Tuesday they have conclusive proof that a senior Chechen politician closely associated with President Ramzan Kadyrov was involved in last weekend's assassination of a Russian army commander.

Police chief Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan bin Tamim told reporters that Dubai police are ready to invite international investigators to view the evidence showing that Adam Delimkhanov planned the shooting of Sulim Yamadayev.

"Dubai police have irrefutable evidence against all those involved in the March 28 murder of Sulim Yamadayev," he said.

"If the Chechen leader is not convinced by the results of Dubai police's investigation and considers the accusations against Adam Delimkhanov to be non-objective, we suggest involving an international team of investigators to examine our findings," the police chief said.

Kadyrov has furiously denied Delimkhanov's involvement in the assassination, saying on Monday that: "Adam Delimkhanov is my close associate, a friend, a brother and my right hand man." He pledged to "hold responsible those who make slanderous insinuations."

Yamadayev, one of Kadyrov's main opponents, was shot dead in a car park beneath his apartment in the luxury Jumeirah Beach Residence complex. Delimkhanov, who was elected to parliament last year and has immunity from prosecution, has denied involvement in the killing.

The murder follows a string of assassinations of prominent critics of the Chechen leadership. In September last year Yamadayev's brother Ruslan was shot dead in his car in central Moscow, and in January a former bodyguard of Kadyrov, Umar Israilov, was killed on a street in Vienna.

Sulim Yamadayev served as the commander of Russia's Vostok battalion in Chechnya, but fled the republic last year after a clash between his troops and Kadyrov's guards. On Monday Kadyrov accused Yamadayev of various crimes, including the murder of Akhmad Kadyrov, Ramzan's father, and of poisoning a lake at the presidential residence.

The killing has focused international attention on Chechnya, and prompted analysts to suggest that the Russian government is failing to keep Kadyrov under control, as the republic becomes increasingly authoritarian.

One Russian political analyst said on Tuesday that Kadyrov has brought about "a de facto separation of the republic from the Russian Federation."

Stanislav Belkovsky told the Novy Region website: "Kadyrov's regime in Chechnya is absolute, the only active laws there are Kadyrov's laws."

In a show of increasing independence from the Russian legal system, Kadyrov said earlier on Tuesday that polygamy should be openly practiced in the Muslim republic, as unmarried girls risk falling victim to honor killings if caught having sexual relations with men.

Belkovsky said that if Kadyrov is successful in pushing for the counter-terrorist operation in the republic to be concluded, implying the withdrawal of thousands of federal troops, this will spell a complete end to Russian control over the republic.

Chechnya was devastated by two military campaigns, in 1994-1996 and 1999-2001, after which Moscow significantly scaled down its military presence in the republic.

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