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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May, 2005, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Chechen held over Van Gogh death
Film-maker Theo van Gogh
Van Gogh was murdered after receiving death threats
French police have arrested a 25-year-old Chechen in connection with the murder of controversial Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

Bislan Ismailov was arrested in Tours, central France, last week.

Dutch prosecutors want Mr Ismailov extradited as they suspect he was an accomplice of Van Gogh's alleged killer Mohammed Bouyeri - now awaiting trial.

Van Gogh, a critic of Islam, was shot and nearly decapitated in an Amsterdam street last November.

A militant Islamist diatribe was pinned to his chest with a knife, threatening the scriptwriter who had written his last film, which had denounced violence against women in Islamic society.

Dutch prosecutors claim that Mr Bouyeri, a Dutch Moroccan, was helped by Chechen separatists, among them Mr Ismailov.

Press reports say Mr Ismailov's fingerprints were found on a suicide note left behind by Mr Bouyeri.

Mr Bouyeri, 27, faces charges of murder, terrorism, possession of an illegal firearm and impeding democracy. He was seized by the police shortly after the killing and could be sentenced to life if found guilty.

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