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EU Court Rules Against Russia in Chechen's Disappearance

The European Court of Human Rights has found Russian authorities responsible for the disappearance of former Chechen parliament speaker, Ruslan Alikhadzhiyev, seven years ago.

The Strasbourg-based court ruled Thursday that Alikhadzhiyev's presumed death could be attributed to the state because the authorities failed to produce any plausible explanation as to his fate after his arrest by uniformed men.

The ruling says that the government also violated the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to properly investigate circumstances of Alikhadzhiyev's detention.

The court ordered Moscow to pay Alikhadzhiyev's mother Zura, more than $50,000 in damages.

Zura Alikhadzhiyeva, who is a Russian national, told the court that her son disappeared in May of 2000 after Russian servicemen arrested him in his home in Shali, Chechnya.

Alikhadzhiyev headed the Chechen parliament under separatist president Aslan Maskhadov in the late 1990s. Maskhadov was killed in 2005.

Russian forces have been fighting Chechen separatists since the early 1990s. Although major fighting has subsided, sporadic violence continues in the mainly Muslim region.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.