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Swedish court denies request to extradite Chechen rebel

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17:56 CEST+02:00
Sweden's Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a Russian extradition request for a Chechen rebel, deeming that the crimes Moscow suspected him of could be considered acts of political resistance.

"The suspected crimes are to be considered as political due to the political motivation for them," the court said in its verdict.

The man, identified by the court only as being 39 years old, is suspected by Moscow of committing a long line of crimes between May and July 2002, including terrorism, the attempted murder of a state employee and participating in an armed group.

The crimes "are part of, or are directly connected to, acts of battle during the so-called second Chechen war, which was presented as a rebellion aimed at liberating the Chechen Republic from the Russian Federation," the court said.

Russia requested the man's extradition from Sweden on July 27then, 2007.

According to the court documents, the 39-year-old claimed the charges against him "rested on incorrect statements from Russian authorities and aimed to force him to Russian territory for political reasons."

He told Sweden's highest court he was being persecuted among other things because he publishes a website that is critical of Moscow.

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