British court considering the extradition of Akhmed Zakayev to Russia

A London court begins on Wednesday hearing the case of the extradition to Russia of Akhmed Zakayev, a Chechen rebel emissary. Zakayev who came to Britain to escape Russian justice, will appear before the London court at 11.00 a.m., GMT. The case will be considered by Judge Timothy Workman. The date of the main session is expected to be fixed during this preliminary court session. Probably, it will be set for January 2003.

The British judicial authorities have obtained all the necessary documents to approve Zakayev's extradition, which were handed over to the British Home Office on December 9th by the Russian Embassy in London. The documents link Zakayev to a number of grave crimes committed in Russia and contain petition of Zakayev's extradition to Russia for criminal prosecution.

Akhmed Zakayev was detained at Heathrow airport upon his arrival from Denmark. He was detained under an international search warrant issued because Russia accused him of committing crimes on its territory. Zakayev, whose identification card was taken away by police, was released on 50,000 pounds sterling bail.

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