Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

Russia policeman jailed for death of Kremlin critic

Magomed Yevloyev (photo from Russian news website
Yevloyev was considered a thorn in the side of former Ingush President Zyazikov

A Russian court has sentenced a policeman to two years in jail for the killing of the owner of a website critical of the Kremlin.

Magomed Yevloyev died from a gunshot wound sustained while travelling in a police car in the restive southern Russian region of Ingushetia.

Mr Yevloyev's supporters say his death was deliberate. The police have always insisted it was an accident.

His website reported on abductions and killings in the region.

His family have criticised the involuntary manslaughter sentence of police officer Ibragim Yevloyev - who was not related to the victim - as too light.

The court in the Ingush town of Karabulak said the officer, a former bodyguard for the local interior ministry, would serve his sentence in a low-security prison settlement.

"This is a peculiar farce and we can say that no-one has been punished, neither the masterminds nor the perpetrators," Musa Pliyev, a lawyer for the victim's family, was quoted as telling Moscow Echo radio after the verdict.

Thorn in the side

Magomed Yevloyev was arrested and later shot after getting off the same flight as the local, Kremlin-backed leader, in the region's main city Nazran in August 2008.

Kaloi Akhilgov, a lawyer close to his website (now, said at the time that Mr Yevloyev had been taken away in a car and shot in the temple.

Local police reports said Mr Yevloyev had tried to seize a policeman's gun when he was being led to a vehicle. A shot was fired and he was injured in the head.

Opposition leaders said at the time the killing was part of Russia's policy of "open genocide" towards the Ingush people.

Mr Yevloyev was considered a thorn in the side of then Ingush President Murat Zyazikov, a former KGB general.

His website reported on alleged Russian security force brutality in Ingushetia, an impoverished province of some half a million people, mostly Muslims, which is now more turbulent than neighbouring Chechnya.

The area is plagued by a low-level insurgency, with regular small-scale ambushes against police and soldiers.

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New York Times Killer of Journalist Gets 2 Years in Southern Russian Republic - 19 hrs ago
Deutsche Welle Ingushetia policeman given two years in jail for shooting reporter - 28 hrs ago Russian policeman gets 2 years in journalist's death - 30 hrs ago
Reuters UK Russian policeman gets 2 years for killing reporter - 35 hrs ago

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