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Russia chief prosecutor opens probe into murder of Russian diplomats in Iraq

[JURIST] Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika announced Friday that a criminal investigation has been opened into the June abduction and murder of four Russian embassy employees [BBC report] in Iraq. In a statement, the Prosecutor General's office [official website] said the perpetrators will be charged with "murder involving hostage-taking by a group of people acting in concert" and "hostage-taking for the purposes of forcing a state to take certain steps as a condition for the hostage's release, committed by a group of people acting in concert using weapons in relation to two or more people."

Earlier this month, both houses of the Russian parliament quickly passed a bill [JURIST report] at the urging of President Vladimir Putin that authorizes Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) [official website, in Russian] to carry out counterterrorism efforts outside Russia, including finding, capturing or killing terrorists abroad. The prosecutorial probe announced Friday theoretically opens the possibility of bringing captured suspects back to Russia for trial. Interfax has more.

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