Russia hopes Georgia will extradite criminals soon

Russian officials hope that Georgia will extradite people who committedcrimes in Russia soon, official representative of the Russian ForeignMinistry Alexander Yakovenko announced. He noted that the recent statementof Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze had aroused bewilderment amongRussian officials. Shevardnadze said they did not have evidence that RuslanGelayev, who had been hiding in Georgia for more than a year, was involvedin criminal or terrorist activities. Yakovenko recalled that the RussianGeneral Prosecutor's office had sent a letter to Georgia demanding theextradition of Gelayev in accordance with the convention on legal aid andlegal relations in civil, family and criminal cases as of January 22, 1993.Moreover, the Russian Foreign Ministry sent a letter the Georgian embassyin Russia on March 25, 2002, demanding the seizure and extradition ofGelayev, who is on Russia's federal wanted list. This letter includeddetails of Gelayev's criminal activities in Russia."Statements of Georgian officials that they know nothing about Gelayev'scrimes are nothing but an attempt to justify the terrorist and shy awayfrom his extradition to Russia," the official representative of the RussianForeign Ministry was quoted as saying. He recalled that Georgia alsorefused to extradite rebels detained with arms at the beginning of Augustwhen they were crossing the Russian-Georgian border. They were notextradited despite documents proving their involvement in criminalactivities, the ministry's information and press department quotedYakovenko as saying..

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