Russian arrested over Chechen dissident murder in Austria

Austrian police have arrested a Russian over the fatal shooting of a Chechen dissident, news wires reported. A 43-year-old was found dead with gunshot wounds near the capital Vienna on Saturday, police said in a statement. They arrested a 47-year-old in the city of Linz, some 200 kilometres from the capital.

The dead man had given evidence in a 2017 murder case in Ukraine in which a man who had plotted to murder Russian President Vladimir Putin was injured and his wife killed in a gun attack near Kiev, the Ukrainian interior ministry told AFP. The Austrian police said the dead Chechen was an asylum seeker but declined to comment further.

A prosecution spokesman identified the dead man as Chechen government critic Martin B., adding prosecutors were seeking a court order to keep the suspect in detention. The suspect lives in Austria but is originally from the Chechnya region.

The Austria shooting comes amid growing concern over the security of Chechen dissidents living in exile. In February, an exiled Chechen blogger also critical of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov fended off an attacker armed with a hammer. A month earlier, Chechen opposition leader Imran Aliev was found dead in a hotel room in the northern French city of Lille, stabbed 135 times.

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