Priest testifies against Zakayev

Father Philip, Russian Orthodox priest who went through terrorist captivity in Chechnya, has not revoked his testimony against Ahmad Zakayev, as certain media outlets allege.

"I have no grounds on which to amend my statements of 1996 [upon rescue] and of Friday last," he said to a news conference in Moscow today. Indignant with the hoax, Father Philip is determined never again to contact newshounds. "I am making today's statement in memory of the martyred victims and in solidarity with my fellow-captives," he added.

Assisted by Yandarbiev, his right-hand man, and other terrorists, Zakayev ambushed and kidnapped two Christian priests on the Grozny-Urus Martan highway, January 1996. One of the clergymen did not survive captivity, says the Zakayev indictment, as quoted by Natalia Veshnyakova, the federal Prosecutor General's deputy chief of PR.

Related information from the Zakayev file has been forwarded to Denmark, where the suspect is in detention. The investigation will never get all details unless he is extradited to Russia, says Miss Veshnyakova.

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