Source Pravda.Ru

Russian Security Council secretary pays brief visit to Qatar

Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov has paid a brief routine visit to Qatar.

He was received by Qatar's Prince Tamin Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Security Council's press service reported.

"The sides considered current bilateral issues and key international problems," the press service said giving no details of the talks.

In late April Igor Ivanov already visited Qatar during the trial of two Russian nationals accused of killing Chechen separatist leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev in Doha on February 13.

On June 30 they were sentenced to life imprisonment. On that day the Security Council Secretary issued a statement on Moscow's readiness to use political and diplomatic channels to protect the Russian citizens' rights and to bring them back to Russia.

After the trial Qatari defender of the two Russians, lawyer Muhsin al-Suwaidi told the local media about the defendants' innocence and filed an appeal.

The first session of the Court of Appeal was held in Doha on July 21. However, the decision-making was postponed till July 29, the court's press secretary told RIA Novosti on the phone. A memorandum was handed to the defenders, he said without disclosing of its contents and other details of the session.

Following the session, Muhsin al-Suwaidi said that he had submitted all the necessary arguments to appeal against the sentence. However, the lawyer did not give any details.

According to him, the prosecutors did not respond to these arguments and the session was postponed till July 29, 2004 to learn if the court was satisfied with them. The lawyer believes that his arguments are sufficient for the appeal and is optimistic about remitting the sentence.

It was formerly believed that the Court of Appeal would take a two-month vacation and make its decision in October.

Three Russian nationals, who had arrived in Qatar on a business trip, were arrested in Doha on February 19, 2004. Later one of them was released due to his diplomatic immunity and returned to Russia in March. The Russian Foreign Ministry often claimed the innocence of the Russian citizens and demanded their return to Russia.

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