MOSCOW, January 24 (RAPSI) – A criminal case against the head of Chechen Republic’s office of Memorial NGO, Oyub Titiyev, should be transferred to Moscow for further investigation, Chairman of Russia’s Presidential Council for Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov has stated.

“I am deeply concerned about series of crimes recently committed in the North Caucasus against the same human rights organization, Memorial,” Fedotov said. He expressed his belief that investigation into Titiyev as well as preliminary investigation into alleged planting of drugs in his car, should be conducted by central departments of the Interior Ministry and the Investigative Committee.

According to the Chechen Republic’s Interior Ministry, on January 9, police officers stopped Titiyev’s car during a preventive control operation. As police officers searched the car, a package filled with a plant-based substance smelling of marihuana was found. The package was then sent for analysis while the head of the office was brought in for a medical examination.

Earlier, Fedotov said that drugs might have been planted in the car because of Titiyev’s human rights activity. He believes that there are grounds for launching two criminal cases: over the discovery and over an alleged planting of drugs. Chechen Republic’s ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiyev stated earlier that police officers had not violated any laws.

On January 17, unknown assailants set on fire Memorial’s office in the Ingushetia Republic. On January 23, a car of the organization was set on fire in the Dagestan Republic.