RealNews

Don't Hand Chechen Over UK Urged

A Chechen diplomat could be killed if he is sent to Russia to face trial on murder and terror charges, a UK extradition hearing has been told. Akhmed Zakayev, 44, is wanted by the Russian Government to face 13 charges over crimes allegedly committed in Chechnya between 1995 and 2000. The charges – all of which he denies – range from waging war against Moscow to carrying out a series of murders and abductions. Experts called by his defence told the hearing at Bow Street Magistrates Court that Mr Zakayev could not receive a fair trial in Russia. Thomas de Waal, a writer and analyst on Chechnya, told Tuesday’s hearing that what he described as Mr Zakayev’s moderate stance could no longer be tolerated by the Russian authorities. Russia officials had got tougher in the wake of the Moscow theatre siege in October 2002, in which dozens of people died, he said. Full Story

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