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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Policeman Gets 2 Years In Yevloyev Slaying

A senior Ingush policeman was sentenced on Friday to two years in a low-security prison for “unintentionally” shooting dead a prominent opposition journalist Magomed Yevloyev in his custody.

Yevloyev, editor of Ingushetia’s main opposition news web site,

Ingushetia.org, and a prominent critic of the region’s former president, Murat Zyazikov, was killed by a pistol shot to the head after being detained at the local airport Aug. 31, 2008.

Presiding judge Murat Tungoyev ruled that policeman Ibragim Yevloyev, who also served as chief bodyguard to the region’s former interior minister, had committed involuntary manslaughter, a court official said.

He agreed with state prosecutors who argued that the policeman had “unintentionally” pulled the trigger of a Stechkin automatic pistol as Yevloyev was being taken in a police car to the local station.

The killing sparked large protests against the authorities and forced the Kremlin to replace Zyazikov with Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.

A spokesman for Yevkurov, Kaloi Akhilgov, said the sentence was “extremely lenient.” He also criticized the trial, saying prosecutors had failed to investigate the role of the region’s former interior minister, Musa Medov, in the killing. Medov has repeatedly denied any involvement.

Friends and supporters of the dead journalist, who have repeatedly said he was murdered, branded the ruling as absurdly lenient and said they would appeal. “Those who rule today have no conscience but they have power and money. Of course we will appeal to a higher court though we know it will change nothing,” Yevloyev’s father, Yakhya, told Ingushetia.org.

“This verdict flouts justice and, given the tension reigning in Ingushetia, could add fuel to the flames,” Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.