The term of detaining the two Russians arrested in Qatar and suspected of assassinating Chechen terrorist emissary Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, has been extended by one more month.
A Moscow diplomat said to ITAR-TASS news agency that earlier Russia requested Qatar authorities to let Russian doctors conduct medical checkup of the arrested men. “However, Qatar has not agreed so far. The negotiations are in progress, there are still hopes that it is possible to release the arrested men”, said the diplomat.
Arrest of Russian officers in Qatar can make Moscow toughen its position on the issue of fighting international terrorism, said political scientist Aleksander Sharavin in a Golos Rossii interview.
Qatar has demonstrated support to Chechen terrorists. Much money was raised in Qatar for Chechen militant gangs. This may be the main course of the tough line of Qatar authorities. There are foundations sponsoring Chechens in this country, and Russian officers were gathering information on these foundations. This is ordinary reaction of special services to such activities. Russian authorities should not ignore the actions of Qatar authorities, the political scientist believes.
Russian lawyers are in contact with Qatar law firms. According to Qatar legislation, foreign lawyers cannot represent the defendant in court. Meanwhile, no Qatar lawyer has agreed to defend Russian officers in court so far, says former director of Russian special service Nikolai Kovalev. He says that the arrested officers cannot be guilty and therefore legal hearing is absolute nonsense.
After the arrest of Russians on February 20 Qatar authorities let Russian Consulate visit the arrested men only twice.
Interim Minister of Defence of Russia Sergey Ivanov has made a statement that Russia will use every opportunity to release its citizens arrested in Qatar.
Source: Russian media