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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yevloyev's Death Called an Accident

A police officer has been charged with accidentally shooting Magomed Yevloyev, owner of the embattled opposition web site Ingushetiya.ru, the Investigative Committee said Friday.

Ibragim Yevloyev, a criminal police officer with Ingushetia's Interior Ministry who is not related to the slain journalist, faces charges of manslaughter when the case goes to court, the Investigative Committee said in a statement on its web site.

Magomed Yevloyev, a staunch critic of Ingush President Murat Zyazikov, was killed on Aug. 31 after being detained by police in Ingushetia's main city, Nazran, as he stepped off a plane from Moscow.

The Ingush opposition has accused Zyazikov, the Ingush Interior Minister Musa Medov and the Kremlin of ordering Yevloyev's killing. On Friday, it dismissed the investigators' finding that the killing was accidental.

"The case is political. Yevloyev's killing was premeditated," Yevloyev family lawyer Musa Pliyev said.

The lawyer accused the investigators of being biased and said he would boycott the trial, which he called a "disgraceful performance."

Pliyev said the investigators had refused to consider evidence from Yevloyev's widow about the possible organizer of his death. They also disregarded an expert evaluation that Yevloyev was killed by a point-blank shot, which ruled out manslaughter, he said.

An Ingush opposition leader, Magomed Khazbiyev, said he also believed that the investigation's findings had been fabricated.

A spokesman for the Investigative Committee declined to comment on Pliyev's and Khazbiyev's accusations.

Pliyev said he did not believe that the death would be properly investigated in Russia and promised to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

Yevloyev's relatives have vowed to avenge his death and have declared a blood feud against President Zyazikov and Interior Minister Musa Medov.

Zyazikov's cousin, Bekhan Zyazikov, was killed by unidentified assailants on Sept. 10, but Yevloyev's widow publicly stated that the killing was not part of the blood feud.

Medov's motorcade was attacked by a suicide bomber on Sept. 30. The minister and his bodyguards were unharmed.

Ingushetiya.ru was one of the few sources of critical information about the Kremlin-backed government in Ingushetia. A court ordered the web site closed in June on charges of posting extremist statements. Late last month, it moved to a new web address, Ingushetia.org.

Ingushetia is one of the most impoverished and volatile republics in the North Caucasus, where police violence against residents and attacks on local officials are common.

The Ingush opposition has repeatedly called in vain for Zyazikov's ouster, accusing him of murder, corruption and mismanagement.