Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 190

President Aslan Maskhadov has dismissed Shamsudin Batukaev and the other members of the board of the supreme Shariah court which Batukaev chaired, accusing them of unspecified "errors and shortcomings." Batukaev was made court chairman in 1995 on the orders of Chechnya’s first president, Djohar Dudaev, who introduced Shariah courts during Chechnya’s 21-month war with Russia.

The move appears to be an attempt to assert presidential control over the judiciary. Maskhadov has asked Chechnya’s Mufti to recommend new candidates for the vacated posts but warned that nominees will have to undergo a screening that will take account "not only of religious education but also of moral qualities, spiritual purity, and political views." (Itar-Tass, October 8-9)

Japanese Naval Actions Ruffle Moscow.