MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's highest court has annulled an order to deport a reporter to his native Uzbekistan, according to court papers released Wednesday.
The Supreme Court has overturned an earlier Moscow court's decision to send Khudoberdy Nurmatov to the Central Asian nation, which has shown little tolerance to dissent.
In a ruling released Wednesday, the Supreme Court said the order to deport the journalist was unsubstantiated and sent the case back to the Moscow court — a move that likely signals the case is over.
Nurmatov fled the country in 2008 after he was allegedly tortured and coerced into collaborating with security agencies. He has been repeatedly denied asylum in Russia.
Nurmatov worked for independent Novaya Gazeta, which is often critical of the Kremlin, under the pen name Ali Feruz.
He was detained in August and a district court in Moscow ordered him to be deported. A few days later, the Moscow City Court suspended that ruling after the European Court of Human Rights had obliged Russia to halt the move amid fears that Nurmatov may face torture in Uzbekistan.
The court at the time ordered Nurmatov to stay in a detention facility for foreigners pending the European court's hearings.
International rights groups have pushed for his release.