Chechen Militant Extradited to Russia from Georgia Faces Eight Criminal Charges

The North Caucasus department of the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office has charged a militant who had been hiding in the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia and was extradited to Russia two weeks ago. The man in question is 22-year-old Amirkhan Ligidov, a member of notorious Chechen commander Ruslan Gelayev's gang.

Ligidov has been charged under eight articles of the Russian Criminal Code, including banditry, the attempted murder of law-enforcement officers, the illegal possession of a firearm and state border violations.

Last August, a group from Gelayev's armed gang left the Pankisi Gorge and crossed into the territory of the Georgian autonomy of Abkhazia, but they were met with stiff resistance. The militants then tried to make their way into Chechnya, only to come under fire from Russian border-guards. The group was forced to retreat to the Pankisi Gorge. All thirteen gang members were detained there at Moscow's request.

Ligidov is the seventh member of this group to be extradited by the Georgian authorities to Russia. Moscow is insisting on the extradition of the other men.

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