RealNews

Chechen leader in extradition case 'ordered kidnap of monk'

A Chechen leader, who is opposing extradition from Britain to Russia on charges of murder and torture, was accused in court yesterday of ordering the kidnap of a monk. Akhmed Zakayev, 44, who is Chechnya’s best-known actor and served as deputy prime minister of the short-lived Chechen government in the late 1990s, claims his life will be at risk if he is returned to Russia. His case is supported by the actress and civil rights campaigner Vanessa Redgrave. Father Sergei Zhigulin, who changed his name to Father Philip, told Bow Street magistrates’ court in London that when he was abducted in January 1996 one of his captors informed him that Mr Zakayev had ordered his kidnap. Another witness, Ivan Soloviev, claimed the Chechen leader tortured and shot him during an interrogation by rebels. Full Story

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