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    EXTRADITION FROM RUSSIA OF GEORGIAN CITIZEN CHARGED WITH NUMBER OF GRAVE CRIMES SUSPENDED

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    TBILISI, January 6, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- The extradition from Russia of Mevlud Chichiashvili, a 28-year-old citizen of Georgia, charged with committing 18 grave crimes on the territory of Georgia, including kidnappings for ransom, has been suspended, the Novosti -Georgia agency reports.

    After a positive decision on the extradition Chichiashvilli appealed against the judgement of the court on refusal to grant a political asylum to him. The extradition can take place only after the court proceedings are over and the court passes a judgement, the head of the public relations department of the State Security Ministry of Georgia, Nika Laliashvili, said at a briefing in Tbilisi.

    Chichiashvili is reported to be involved in a number of notorious kidnappings, including MP Petre Tsiskarishvili, Spanish businessmen Antonio Tremino and Francisco Rodriguez, as well as British banker Peter Show.

    Mevlud Chichiashvilli was outside Georgia during the last year. The investigation managed to trace his movement - the Georgian investigators were assisted by their counterparts from Russia and Kazakhstan in this. Chichiashvili was apprehended in Moscow on June 24, 2003.

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