Polish court rejects Zakayev's extradition to Russia

14:26, January 29, 2011      

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A Warsaw appeals court Friday upheld a December verdict refusing the extradition to Russia of exiled Chechen leader Ahmed Zakayev, according to local media.

Zakayev, who has received political asylum in Britain, was arrested in Poland last September on the strength of an international arrest warrant issued by Russia, where he is wanted on terrorism charges.

At the time, a Polish court refused to detain Zakayev in Poland despite Russia's demands for his extradition, arguing that he was a political refugee in Britain and could not be handed out to a third country. Zakayev left Poland shortly afterwards but promised to return for extradition hearings.

Last December, a Warsaw district court dropped the case on grounds of Zakayev's absence in Poland. Zakayev, who wanted to appear at the trial, could not come after being refused a Polish visa.

The court Friday dropped the extradition case against Zakayev, calling Russia's appeals for his handover "groundless".

Zakayev in London called the ruling "correct" and said he knew that the Polish judiciary would "rule correctly" in the case.


Source: Xinhua
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