Source Pravda.Ru

Extradition of Ahmed Zakayev Started

A process on extradition of Maskhadov’s political emissary Ahmed Zakayev from Great Britain to Russia is to begin in London today. Russian General Prosecutor’s Office has already sent all necessary materials on the case to London. Zakayev’s criminal activity is confirmed with substantial proofs – transcripts of interrogation of witnesses and victims.

As Russia’s news agency RBC informs, the Russian side provided new materials on Zakayev’s case. According to Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Sergey Fridinsky, transcripts of interrogation of one more victim and one more witness in connection with another act of Zakayev’s terrorist activity in Chechnya have been sent to London. The other day, British Home Secretary David Blunkett made an important political decision: he signed an instruction that is to begin the procedure of Zakayev’s extradition to Russia. As Russia’s television ORT informs, evidence proving Zakayev’s guilt and presented by the Russian side are declared convincing by the British authorities, which in its turn made for signing of the above mentioned instruction by the British home secretary.

The Russian General Prosecutor’s Office welcomes the decision made in Great Britain, but at the same time the Russian side knows from Britain’s judicial practice that consideration of such cases can be dragged out and even last for more than a year.

Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Sergey Fridinsky says: “Now it’s the turn of Britain’s court; we hope that Russia’s request will be treated objectively and impartially in Great Britain.”

So far, it is just a small triumph of Russia. However, there was another interesting information reported yesterday.

Lord Judd, who had made several visits to Caucasus in the network of PACE activities, said at a Parliamentary Assembly session yesterday that he would resign. Lord Judd will give up his visits to Chechnya, deliver reports on results of the visits and will quit the post of co-chairman of the PACE – Duma workgroup for Chechnya. It seems that Judd is weary to death because of these problems. But after a little while, Lord Judd declared he would resign “if a referendum on Chechnya constitution will take place on March 23 as it is scheduled.”

Picture: NTV-TV.Ru

Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://world.pravda.ru/world/2003/5/14/36/6387_Zakaev.html

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