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6 Oct, 2008 07:23

Investigators: opposition website owner’s death accidental

The owner of an Ingush opposition website who died after being shot in the head while in police custody died due to negligent handling of firearms, say investigators. But Magomet Yevloyev’s relatives insist his death was premeditated and that the investig

Yevloyev died on August 31 in hospital from a head wound. He apparently was wounded shortly after he was detained after disembarking from a flight at the airport of the southern republic’s capital, Magas.

Investigators say one of the guards mishandled his weapon, which resulted in a shot accidentally being discharged. As a result, Yevloyev received a lethal head wound. The name of the police officer in question was not revealed in order to protect him from a possible revenge attack. The case is to go to court soon.

For their part, Yevloyev’s family claim the investigation was rigged to cover up a murder. Their counsellor said crucial witnesses to the case had not been questioned, including the republic’s president, Murat Zyazikov, who reportedly had been on the same flight as Yevloyev. The counselor added that he will file a suit with the European Court of Human Rights.

Magomet Yevloyev was a fierce critic of the Ingush authorities and the owner of the Ingushetia.ru website. The site was closed earlier this year after it was accused of extremism.