Report: In France, Anti-Putin Blogger Found Dead With Throat Slit
An anti-Putin blogger from Chechnya was found dead in a French hotel room last week, and French police believe he was likely the victim of a “politically motivated” killing, according to Business Insider.
Imran Aliev, 44, “vocally opposed the Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov and Russian President Vladimir Putin,” the publication reported. Hotel staff found Aliev dead in his room with his throat slit the morning after he arrived from Belgium.
A senior French official said in Belgium, Aliev “was under police protection because of threats out of Russia and Chechnya over his opposition blogging.”
The official added that Aliev “was accompanied by another Chechen, who we have tentatively identified based on his travel documents.” This individual has disappeared, the official said, and they are currently seeking his whereabouts.
"This identification could be a case of mistaken identity or even an illegal alibi," the official said, adding that nothing can be determined for sure "until we have spoken with this man we believe is an important witness."
He also said given Aliev’s history and prior threats against him, the police are examining “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.”
A law enforcement official in Belgium indicated that Aliev’s death was highly suspicious, saying: "We had him under police protection for a reason.”
There were "'specific and credible threats' on his life from certain political sectors in Chechnya and Russia, which we could easily verify and concluded that protection was deserved,” the official said.