Asia Crisis

Chechen leader wins libel case against Russia rights group

MOSCOW, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov on Tuesday won a lawsuit against a leading Russian human rights group, which was ordered to pay him symbolic damages for accusing him of being behind the murder of one of its activists.

Natalia Estemirova, who worked for rights group Memorial, was abducted near her house in Chechnya on July 15, shot dead and her body dumped in neighbouring Ingushetia.

Kadyrov had sought 10 million roubles ($316,100) in damages from Memorial chairman Oleg Orlov, who issued a statement saying the Chechen was behind Estemirova's murder.

"The court ruled to partly satisfy Kadyrov's lawsuit against rights group Memorial and its chairman," Moscow's Tverskoi district court said in its ruling. It said Memorial must pay Kadyrov 50,000 roubles ($1,677) in damages and Orlov an extra 20,000 roubles ($670.9). Orlov must also retract his accusation. (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Michael Stott)