Maskhadov’s Emissary Detained in Denmark

Will the terrorist be extradited to Russia?
On Wednesday, Denmark authorities arrested Ahmed Zakayev, the official foreign emissary to terrorist separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov. Zakayev participated in the so-called “World Chechen Congress” in Copenhagen, the one which caused so much protest in Russia. The Russian government thinks that the detained Chechen is connected with the organization of the recent hostage taking act in the Moscow theatre, Danish TV-2 television informs. Danish police report that the arrest was made because of the strong requests of Russian authorities before the opening of the congress.

Copenhagen asked Moscow to provide additional information to consider the arrest of people suspected of terrorism. The Danish television stresses that the information provided in this connection was considered important. On Wednesday, Zakayev is to appear in court to determine whether he will be jailed pending the investigation or released. Russia demands that the Chechen be extradited.

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned Denmark for hosting the so-called “World Chechen Congress.” However, the Danish authorities ignored the demands of Russia to ban the congress, which started five days after the hostage incident in Moscow. The constitutional right to freedom of press and assembly was cited; it was added that the congress was held on private initiative. Because of the congeress, the RF Foreign Ministry said that Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t come to the Russia-EU summit in Copenhagen.

More consultations were held on the problem, and, finally, Danish authorities agreed to detain some delegates of the congress if Moscow provide proofs of terrorist involvement. It didn’t take much time to compile a dossier on Ahmed Zakayev, as the man is a very well-known and odious figure here in Russia. The only thing to find out now is how far Denmark will go to please Russia and not fall out with the Chechens and with those who finance them. It’s difficult to please all of everyone, indeed.

The first reactions to Zakayev’s detention have already been published in Russia. Head of the Chechen administration Ahmad Kadyrov approved of the actions of the Danish police. And Kadyrov says that more delegates of the Chechen congress should have been arrested along with Zakayev. He thinks that delegates of the congress sympathizing with terrorists should have been arrested as well. “We should bring into account those Muscovites and other people holding Russian passports who, despite the recent tragic events in Moscow, left for Copenhagen for the scandalous Chechen congress. These people demonstrated their moral support to terrorist-related circles,” the head of the Chechen administration adds. In his words, it’s really very important for Russian law enforcement authorities to seek the extradition of Zakayev to Russia and bring him into account.

An aide to Zakayev denied reports about the detention of Maskhadov’s emissary in a telephone interview; however, he confirmed that Danish police were verifying information provided by Moscow about Ahmed Zakayev.

Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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