He is reportedly residing in Vanessa Redgrave's London mansion
If Chechen rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev is extradited to Russia, he would be treated in compliance with international standards. Russian Justice Minister Yury Chaika told RIA Novosti Tuesday: "If we hold Zakayev in Russia, we are ready to let international human rights activists, including members of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, visit Zakayev on a daily basis, if they want to."
Commenting on a statement from one of Zakayev's lawyers, who said at the London hearings that torture is flourishing in Russia, Yury Chaika said: "Zakayev's lawyer has been diverted from the reality." The minister's deputy, Yury Kalinin, confirmed Chaika's words. The deputy justice minister believes that there are no threats of loss of life or torture for Chechens in Russian jails. "We attempt to make prisons into rehabilitation centers. We need to prepare a person for freedom from the first day of imprisonment," RIA Novosti quoted Yury Kalinin as saying.
The hearings on Akhmed Zakayev's extradition to Russia started at London's Bow Street Magistrates Court on June 9th. The British court is considering the request from the Russian Office of the Prosecutor General to deliver Zakayev to Russia on the basis of serious charges, including murder, torture and masterminding Chechen terrorist attacks.
Zakayev has been in Britain since early December of 2002. He arrived in the UK from Denmark (the Danish government had refused to deliver him to Russia). Zakayev was invited to come to London by British actress Vanessa Redgrave, but the Chechen rebel envoy was detained at Heathrow Airport on the basis of the international warrant that had been issued in connection with Russia's accusations. Zakayev was released on bail of 50,000 pounds later on. The Echo of Moscow radio station reported that Zakayev was currently residing at Redgrave's mansion in London.