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    YANDARBIYEV'S DEATH CAUSED BY VENDETTA OR FINANCIAL ARGUMENT

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    MOSCOW, February 13th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - The attempt on the life of former Chechen leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev could have been caused by vendetta or by his involvement in financing terrorist activity in Chechnya, said former FSB head and now chairman of the Duma committee for veterans Nikolai Kovalev.

    "I have considered two major versions. The first one is that there was a vendetta against him," said Kovalev. "I know for sure that there are several people having serious claims to Yandarbiyev." Kovalev believes that people from Chechen tapes had reasons for the vendetta, as their relatives were killed by Yandarbiyev. "Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev has blood on his hands like many in those times (the 1990s), and he was directly involved in the murder of some Chechens from influential tapes," said the deputy.

    Kovalev's second version is that Yandarbiyev had a hand in financing terrorist activities in Chechnya. "Certainly, there were people who did not like the way money was distributed, and the fact that some funds were misappropriated," the parliamentary said.

    "The attempt to get control over these financial channels was the most likely reason for the attempt on Yandarbiyev's life," Kovalev emphasised.

    The former FSB head fully ruled out the opportunity of special services' participation in preparations for the attempt on the terrorist's life and preferred to make no comments on this idea.

    Yandarbiyev died on Friday in a car explosion in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

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