Chechen terrorist Ahmed Zakayev detained after the World Chechen Congress in Copenhagen, left Denmark for cosmopolitan London. In a comfortable house of Vanessa Redgrave, the popular actress of the middle of the previous century, Ahmed Zakayev is waiting for a verdict from the British authorities. However, Russia’s Ambassador to Great Britain Grigory Karasin is on the alert already.
Russia’s Embassy in London already started negotiations with the British authorities concerning extradition of emissary of the Chechen terrorists Ahmed Zakayev to Russia. Russia’s Ambassador to Great Britain Grigory Karasin says that in response to an official inquiry of the Russian Embassy, the British authorities told Russian diplomats the details of Zakayev’s arrival to the country, conditions of his detention, regime and conditions of staying on the Great Britain territory. After the meeting with officials of Britain’s Foreign Ministry and other governmental structures the Russian ambassador is sure that local authorities understand the seriousness of the situation and realize that it may have consequences to bilateral relations between the countries.
Meanwhile, the arrest by the British police Ahmed Zakayev stays in a comfortable house of British movie star Vanessa Redgrave.
The Chechen terrorist came to London from Copenhagen escorted by Vanessa Redgrave and a Guardian journalist, who guarded Zakayev against kidnapping all the way long. Ahmed Zakayev says that being still in Copenhagen he asked his lawyer to call Scotland Yard and ask to arrest him immediately upon his arrival to London. At least, he said it in his interview to Russia’s business weekly Kommersant, the newspaper belonging to Zakayev’s main protector on the international scene, former Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.
According to the terrorist, he is not quite satisfied with the legal estimate given to his actions in Denmark. He wants to get an estimate of British justice on the same problem. Then, he says, neither Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Duma’s foreign affairs committee, nor Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov won’t be able to say that Britain, like Denmark, is just a small country mad about its liberal democratic values. The terrorist hopes that this trick won’t work with the British Queen. Meanwhile, he is getting ready for a trial which is scheduled for December 11. Ahmed Zakayev is going to use the court hall as a tribune for continuation of his activity, which he himself characterizes as “a political activity.”
British actress Vanessa Redgrave supports the Chechen terrorist with his ideas. She said in an interview to BBC, she is sure that Zakayev is not a terrorist. In her words, Ahmed Zakayev entered the country with a multiple entry visa issued for him half a year ago. The actress says, the very fact of granting the visa to Zakayev proves that Britain’s special services checked him and discovered nothing criminal in his background and current activities. The actress is sure that Britain’s justice will acquit her charge and won’t extradite him to “bloodthirsty Russia”; she says: “We have witnesses, documents and experienced lawyers.”
Although the whole of the Extradition procedure goes through several stages in Great Britain, it is the Foreign Office that takes a final decision on the problem. After getting an inquiry for extradition, Britain’s foreign minister sanctions a short-term arrest of an accused person and then sends materials of the case to the London Court in Bow Street. On the basis of materials sent to the court and after a reliable identification of the accused, the court sanctions his arrest, which as a rule lasts from 40 to 60 days until the Foreign Office takes a final decision on extradition.
In accordance with the British legislation, the accused has the right to appeal against a court decision within 15 days in any circuit court, even in the House of Lords, Britain’s highest judicial authority. However, when all legal procedures are over, the extradition case gets back to the foreign minister again. The minister considers recommendations of lawyers and takes a final decision concerning extradition, whether to allow or reject the claim. If the claim is allowed, the accused person is extradited to the demanding country immediately.
Ahtyam Ahtyrov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://world.pravda.ru/world/2002/5/14/36/4014_ZakaevLondon.html