Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 8


On February 22, Belarus handed over to the Russian authorities two Chechens suspected of murdering Paul Klebnikov, the veteran investigative journalists and editor of the Russia-language edition of Forbes, in Moscow last July., citing Belarusian national television, reported on February 22 that the Belarusian law-enforcement authorities had practically completed their investigation of the two suspects, Kazbek Dukuzov and Valid Agaev. Belarusian television reported that according to one version, “the organizers of Klebnikov’s murder were not the heroes of his previous revelatory publications, but people who he was only planning to tell about in his new book, devoted to the embezzlement of budget funds in Chechnya.”


The head of Russia’s Federal Penal Service, Yuri Kalinin, said on February 16 that the two Rusian special services agents convicted in Qatar of the murder of former Chechen separatist president Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, who returned to Russia in December, are not being held in the institutions under his charge. “As for our citizens who were brought from Qatar, they are not being held in our institutions,” Kalinin said comments carried by Ren-TV. “I have no further information. Maybe they are receiving medical treatment somewhere. Maybe some procedural issues are being resolved. You see, a sentence passed by a Qatar court does not serve as grounds for holding somebody in prison in Russia.” Anatoly Belashkov and Vasily Bogachev, who were sentenced to life for killing Yandarbiev in February 2004, were allowed to return to Russia in an apparent goodwill gesture by the Qatari authorities. Qatari news reports at the time of their release said they would serve out their sentences in Russia.