Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Moscow Targets Zakayev

The Russian authorities have not yet given up their long-held aim of extraditing Akhmed Zakayev and Boris Berezovsky from Britain. The Litvinenko case appears to be the latest instrument being used by Moscow in this strategy. A report in Gazeta notes that

The Public Prosecutor’s Office will again attempt to attain the extradition of Zakayev to his native land. Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika recently directly stated such intentions. Especially as now the Russian investigators, after the visit to Moscow of the detectives of Scotland Yard (yesterday the completion of their work was announced), have a real possibility to meet personally with Zakayev His questioning will take place within the framework of the case concerning Litvinenko’s poisoning with polonium-210 (The Prosecutor’s Office is conducting its own investigation), but it is unlikely that the only subject of discussion will be the death of the former FSB official, with whom Zakayev was friendly.

Update: Akhmed Zakayev has responded to the Russian threats:
He said the Kremlin was trying to scare him into silence after he blamed it for the murders of campaigning journalist Anna Politkovskaya and Litvinenko, a former security agent who was Zakayev’s friend and neighbour in London.
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“You can liquidate a person or you can frighten him. Either way, if he shuts up, you’ve reached your goal. Of course they want the same thing from me,” Zakayev told Reuters.

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