From: "Pedro Martori"
Subject: Chechen Leader Arrested in Denmark Is a Quarry of Putin's Terrorist Hunt
charset = "utf-8"
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 09:19:52 -0500
NNTP-Posting-Date: Mon, 04 Nov 2002 09:25:06 EST
Organization: Bell Sympatico
Chechen Leader Arrested in Denmark Is a Quarry of Putin's Terrorist Hunt
By CRAIG S. SMITH
COPENHAGEN, Oct. 30 =E2=89=88 A senior Chechen leader was arrested and =
jailed here Wednesday on Russian charges that he was involved in the =
Moscow theater siege, signaling that the vow of Russia's president, =
Vladimir Putin, to apprehend Chechen separatists in an American-style, =
worldwide war on terror is winning friends beyond his borders.
Chechens are backed up by muslims from Iran,Irak etc.
Akhmed Zakayev, the 43-year-old deputy prime minister of the Chechen =
separatist government in exile, was seized in his room at the Radisson =
SAS Scandinavia Hotel at 2:15 a.m., after the conclusion of a Chechen =
conference called the World Chechen Congress.
The conference, which Russia had urged Denmark to block, had drafted =
statements calling for negotiations to end the war in Chechnya. A =
southern Russian republic, Chechnya has fought two separatist wars =
against Russia =E2=89=88 interrupted by a period of autonomy from 1996 =
to 1999 =E2=89=88 since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Mr. Zakayev, the official foreign envoy for the Chechen separatist =
president, Aslan Maskhadov, appeared later in the morning at a two-hour, =
closed-door hearing at which a Danish judge ordered him jailed until =
Nov. 12, while his case was under investigation. A defense attorney, =
Ervin Birk Nielsen, said he and Mr. Zakayev had not yet decided whether =
Mr. Zakayev's arrest is a major coup for Mr. Putin, who, following the =
hostage-taking incident in Moscow this week, promised to hunt down =
Chechen terrorists in whatever country harbored them. .
Mr. Putin's threat to take his war against Chechen separatists beyond =
the country's borders echoes President Bush's call to fight terrorists =
around the world in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. The strategy is a =
blow to the Chechen movement.=20
Russian officials welcomed the arrest of Mr. Zakayev, and the General =
Prosecutor's office immediately made an official request for his =
Russian officials first requested Mr. Zakayev's arrest on Friday, the =
day before Russian commandos stormed the theater in Moscow. Those =
officials repeated their requests over the weekend, on the eve of the =
two-day conference of Chechens in Copenhagen.
Aleksandr V. Machevsky, a spokesman for the Kremlin, said in an =
interview today that Russia had sought Mr. Zakayev's arrest since =
September 2001 on three charges stemming from the war in Chechnya. They =
involve armed insurrection during Chechnya's brief period of autonomy, =
the organization of an illegal armed detachment after a second war began =
in 1999 and attempted murder of law-enforcement officers.
Mr. Machevsky claimed that Mr. Zakayev also had a role in the hostage =
siege, though he declined to provide evidence. "He was definitely =
involved, in that at the minimum he knew of it," he said.
A statement by the commissioner of Copenhagen's police said that on =
Tuesday the Russians had provided evidence of his participation in the =
planning of the hostage siege that was "sufficient grounds" for his =
In a closed-door hearing today, a Danish judge ordered Mr. Zakayev held =
until Nov. 12 because of a risk that he might flee while the question of =
his extradition to Russia is settled.
While the arrest promised to help repair a serious breach in relations =
between Russia and Denmark, the countries now face a confrontation over =
Mr. Zakayev's extradition. Denmark's ambassador to Russia, Lars Vissing, =
said in a radio interview in Moscow that Denmark and Russia did not have =
an extradition treaty, and that the country would not extradite a =
suspect to a country with the death penalty. Russia imposed a moratorium =
on the death penalty in 1996, though the provision remains on its books.
According to the Danish foreign ministry, however, exceptions have been =
made, including the extradition of suspects to the United States. =
Russian officials expressed confidence that Mr. Zakayev's extradition =
would be resolved quickly.
"It is vital that Mr. Zakayev be extradited as quickly as possible," the =
speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, Gennady N. Seleznyov, =
Mr. Zakayev was a professional actor in Chechnya, performing in the =
Chechen-Ingush Drama Theater in Grozny, before he became increasingly =
involved in Chechnya's independence movement and ultimately its two wars =
He served as a minister of culture under President Dzhokhar Dudayev, who =
declared independence from Russia after the Soviet collapse. In the =
first Chechen war, which began in 1994, he served a prominent field =
commander. He played a significant role in the negotiations that ended =
that war and was among the Chechen representatives who appeared in =
Moscow to sign the treaty with President Boris N. Yeltsin in 1996.
After the war, he again served as minister of culture. In 1997, he ran =
for president of the republic, but lost. Still, the new president, Aslan =
Maskhadov, appointed him deputy premier. Two years later he was =
appointed the commander of a special Chechen brigade, apparently the =
root of Russia's charges that he was involved in the organization of an =
illegal armed force.
In 2000, during the second war, he was badly wounded as Russian forces =
drove Mr. Maskhadov's government from power. He survived, however, and =
emerged as Mr. Maskhadov's chief envoy and spokesman-in-exile, traveling =
widely in Europe. He lived for a time in Turkey, but was denied =
permission to stay there last year.
Last November he met briefly with a representative of Mr. Putin's at an =
airport in Moscow, but international efforts to broker peace talks have =
failed as Mr. Putin has taken an increasingly hard line in his dealings =
with Mr. Maskhadov.
Chechens are backed up by muslims from Iran,Irak etc.
Mart=C3=AD siempre condeno la tiran=C3=ADa: "=C2=BFDel tirano? Del =
tirano/ di todo, =C2=A1di mas! y clava/ con furia de mano esclava/ sobre =
su oprobio al tirano".