District judge Timothy Workman will sit in judgement on Russia's bid to have Chechen emissary Ahmed Zakayev extradited, London's district court told the Novosti news agency Monday. The pre-trial hearing is slated for December 11. On that day, the court is expected to decide on the court hearing date. It will most likely take place in January 2003.
As RIA Novosti knows from the Scotland Yard, the trial of the Zakayev case will take at least a month. In Great Britain, such cases are tried for rather a long time and the verdict cannot be predicted.
Zakayev was detained on December 5 at London's Heathrow airport where he flied from Denmark. He was detained on the international arrest warrant since Russia charges him with committing crimes in its territory. However, the Chechen separatist was soon released on bail, his passport having been taken away by police.
Zakayev is charged with nine crimes, including particularly grave ones. There are witnesses, for one, who saw Zakayev shoot captured Russian builders on March 22, 1996.
Russia had demanded that Denmark apprehend Zakayev in a few days after the Moscow theatre terror act. The Danish authorities did detain Zakayev, but soon released him saying the Russia-provided evidence was insufficient. Zakayev soon left for Britain.