‘Politically motivated’: Putin critic found in French hotel with slit throat and dozens of stab wounds – Washington Examiner

Posted: February 10, 2020 at 9:48 pm

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A Chechen blogger who spoke out against the governments of Russia and Chechnya was found dead in a French hotel room with a slit throat and stab wounds.

Police in Lille, France, discovered the body of 44-year-old Imran Aliev late last month in what French police suspect was a politically motivated slaying. Aliev was a vocal opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

He used the pseudonyms Mansur Stariy and Old Mansur and was known for his fiery denunciations of Putin and Kadyrov. A French official told Business Insider last week that Aliev had been living as a political refugee in Belgium and was under police protection because of threats out of Russia and Chechnya over his opposition blogging.

Aliev was reportedly accompanied to the hotel by another Chechen who disappeared after the apparent assassination and who officials are now searching for.

This identification could be a case of mistaken identity or even an illegal alibi, the French police official said, noting that nothing could be determined until we have spoken with this man we believe is an important witness.

It is unclear why Aliev traveled from Belgium into the border city of Lille. A Belgian official would not say whether he notified authorities there about the trip.

I cannot speak directly to whether anyone knew he planned to travel, but I would suggest that arranging protection for someone just a few kilometers over the border would not have been an issue, the official said.

More than a dozen people have reportedly been assassinated in the United Kingdom by Russian assassins. In 2018, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia almost died after being poisoned by a Russian nerve agent, prompting then-Prime Minister Theresa May to expel 23 Russian diplomats.

Obviously, considering Aliev's history and previous threats, we need to strong examine the possibility of a state intelligence service in this murder, and we are collecting and analyzing evidence from travel patterns, electronic intercepts, and other investigative tools at our disposal, said the French police official.

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'Politically motivated': Putin critic found in French hotel with slit throat and dozens of stab wounds - Washington Examiner

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February 10th, 2020 at 9:48 pm

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