Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 12:27 UK

Interpol warrants in Chechen case

Adam Delimkhanov (2007)
Adam Delimkhanov says he is willing to answer investigators' questions

Interpol has issued arrest warrants for seven Russians in connection with the killing of a rival of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov in Dubai last month.

The suspects include a Russian MP, Adam Delimkhanov, who police in the emirate accuse of masterminding the assassination of Sulim Yamadayev.

Yamadayev was shot dead on 28 March in the car park of his apartment block.

Mr Delimkhanov, a Chechen, rejects the allegations and has accused the police of incompetence.

Yamadayev led an elite division of Chechnya's security forces and was once close to President Kadyrov, but fell out with him last year and fled Russia.

The killing was the fourth of a prominent Chechen since September, when Yamadayev's brother Ruslan was shot dead in Moscow.

The Chechen leader has denied any involvement in the killings.

'Red Notice'

In a statement on Monday, Interpol said it welcomed the Dubai police force's request that it issue Red Notices, or international wanted persons' notices, for seven Russian nationals in connection with the killing of Sulim Yamadayev.

I am ready to co-operate with the investigation, ready to answer objective and clear questions, if the Dubai police have any
Adam Delimkhanov
State Duma deputy from Chechnya

Besides Mr Delimkhanov, Zelimkhan Mazaev, Elimpasha Khatsuev, Salman Kimayev, Tirpal Kimaev, Ramazan Musiev and Marvan Kimaev were named as being wanted for "crimes against life and health".

"Our request for Interpol to publish Red Notices for these men is an essential part of our investigation into this shooting and underlines our commitment to find these men and bring them to justice," said Dubai Police Chief Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan Tamim.

Many Interpol member countries view a Red Notice as a legal basis for arrest or detention of a suspect, but they are not required to do so.

Russia's constitution bans the extradition of Russian nationals for crimes committed abroad.

'100% Chechen'

Earlier this month, Gen Tamim said an Iranian and a Tajik connected to Yamadayev's killing had been arrested, and that four other suspects had fled to Russia.

Sulim Yamadayev (2007)
Sulim Yamadayev once led an elite division of Chechnya's security forces

He said one of the men in custody had admitted to receiving the murder weapon from a guard of Mr Delimkhanov, a member of Russia's lower house of parliament and an associate of Mr Kadyrov.

"Our investigation found [Delimkhanov] to be the mastermind of the assassination of Sulim Yamadayev," he said. "The crime... is 100% of Chechen making and it's an operation of settling accounts."

Mr Delimkhanov said the accusation was a "provocation" aimed at destabilising Chechnya, but that he was willing to answer investigators' questions.

Yamadayev was a separatist rebel leader during the first Chechen war of the mid-1990s who later switched to the Russian side, after Moscow sent troops back into the republic to retake control.

He then became commander of the elite Vostok security forces battalion, a unit of former rebels who have helped quell separatist resistance. In 2005, he was named a Hero of Russia, the country's top honour.

But last year, Yamadayev was dismissed after falling out with Mr Kadyrov. He later fled to Dubai after the killing of his brother.

Critics have accused Mr Kadyrov and his supporters of systematically removing any opposition to his rule.

In January, Umar Israilov, a former bodyguard for Mr Kadyrov who had accused him of torture and kidnapping, was killed in Vienna. The next month, a former deputy mayor of Grozny was shot dead in Moscow.

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