Polish court refuses to extradite Chechen to Russia
PR dla Zagranicy
A Warsaw court has declined to extradite a Chechen man accused of taking part in the two Chechen-Russian wars, the former beginning in 1994.
Judge Maria Turek ruled that a fair trial would be unlikely in Russia, arguing that the suspect could be tortured if extradited to Chechnya in the north Caucasus, which is part of the Russian Federation.
Russian prosecutors have accused the Chechen man of participating in battles “to overthrow the constitutional order” and “attempting to build a Sharia state.”
Albert S. (full name withheld under Polish privacy laws), previously known as Murad I., has been living in Poland for eleven years, and he has a wife and two children in the country.
The court stressed that it does not adjudicate the guilt or innocence of a person, but only whether the extradition is permissible by law.
Judge Turek noted that Albert S.'s refugee status was a key element contributing to the decision that was ultimately reached.
The first Chechen-Russian War began in December 1994, when Russian forces attacked the breakaway Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Russia agreed to withdraw from Chechnya in August 1996.
In August 1999 war broke out again following the invasion of neighbouring Russian republic of Dagestan by the Islamic International Brigade (IIB) a militant group that included Chechens in its ranks. Russia regained rule over Chechnya in May 2000, but partisans were not stamped out until 2009. (nh/rk)
Source: Radio ZET