Friday, May 17, 2013

Chechnya’s Kadyrov Embroiled in Instagram Controversy

Officials found themselves deflecting controversy on Thursday after Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov was caught in an Instagram posing with a reportedly convicted murderer on Wednesday. Kadyrov posted an Instagram photo of himself standing with Bekhan Ibragimov, who had complained to Kadyrov of bribery at his local passport office, where he had applied for a new passport. Kadyrov posted the photo with a caption saying the official was fired and warning others against bribery. But bloggers soon identified Ibragimov as the same man who was convicted in 2011 for his role in the 2010 stabbing of a football fan to death in a fight in Moscow. Ibragimov was sentenced to five years in prison, and bloggers were wondering why he was at large. Ibragimov was found guilty of hooliganism for his role in stabbing Yuri Volkov, sentenced to five years in prison and sent to Chechnya to serve out his term, a Chechen law enforcement source told RIA Novosti. After serving more than half of his term, Chechnya’s Supreme Court ruled to release him on parole, the Federal Prison Service said in an official statement posted on its site Wednesday. Another man, Akhmedpasha Aidayev, is still serving out a 16-year sentence for the murder. Ibragimov was released just a week before complaining to Kadyrov. Kadyrov did not know that Ibragimov had been convicted, his spokesperson, Alvi Karimov, told Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei radio on Thursday. “[Kadyrov] had absolutely no knowledge of whether [Ibragimov] was convicted or not,” Karimov said.

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