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German court sentences Russian man over plot to murder Chechen dissident

Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya, addresses troops in his capital city, Grozny.
Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya, addresses troops in his capital city, Grozny. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with AFP
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Thwarted assassination plan is suspected to have been initiated at the top of Chechnya's power elite

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A Russian man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a German court for preparing to assassinate a dissident on the orders of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

Named only as Valid D. in accordance with German legal procedure, the man was found guilty by the court in Munich of having declared his readiness to commit murder and "a serious act of violence endangering the State".

On trial since June, he was accused of obtaining the weapon that was to be used to commit the crime and of spying on the intended target after receiving orders to do so from a member of the Chechen security apparatus in the first half of 2020.

The assassination was then to be carried out by another person, according to the prosecution.

The German court did not reveal the identity of the Chechen dissident who was to be killed, but indicated that the murder was intended to "silence the brother" of an opponent critical of the Kadyrov regime, who was involved in social media for an independent Chechnya.

According to German media reports at the time of the announcement of his arrest in April 2021, the accused intended to attack Mokhmad Abdourakhmanov, a Chechen who has been a refugee in Germany with his family since 2017.

Abdourakhmanov's brother Toumso, a blogger and critic of Kadyrov's authoritarian regime, was himself the target of an attempted murder in Sweden in 2020.

The revelation of the plot has further poisoned the relationship between Germany and Russia, as geopolitical tensions surround the war in Ukraine and ever more cases of espionage attributed to Moscow are exposed.

In December, the German courts sentenced a Russian man to life imprisonment for the murder, in Berlin in 2019, of a Chechen opponent of Georgian nationality. The court concluded that the murder had been directly ordered by the Russian authorities.

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