Chechen rebels have today called for prominent separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev to be killed, saying he has abandoned Islam.
An Islamic rebel website said Zakayav had recognised the authority of Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed leader of the region.
'The court has ruled that the killing of this apostate is a duty for Muslims.' It did not say what court had issued the ruling.
Zakayev, 50, fought against Russia as a senior rebel commander in two wars with Moscow from 1994 to 2000.
After Russia regained control of the province, he fled to Europe and acted as an official rebel envoy until 2007.
Russia has tried to extradite Zakayev for 13 alleged crimes including kidnapping and murder, but a British court rejected the request in 2003, causing a diplomatic row.
Kadyrov said last month that he would welcome Zakayev's return and possibly offer him a job in the regional culture ministry. But there were no indications Russia was ready to drop charges against him.
Kadyrov faces strong criticism from human rights bodies after kidnappings and killings of human rights and charity activists in Chechnya.
He denies any link to the killings.