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    PROSECUTOR-GENERAL'S OFFICE ASKS TO LOOK INTO ZAKAYEV'S GERMAN VISIT

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- The Russian State Duma's foreign-affairs committee asked the Prosecutor-General's Office to investigate Chechen emissary Akhmad Zakayev's recent German visit. Addressing a house session here today, Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the afore-said committee, noted that the deputies wanted to find out all about specific measures being implemented by the Prosecutor-General's Office to extradite Zakayev to Russia.

    According to Kosachev, house members also intend to use their inter-parliamentary contacts for the sake of clarifying the situation with Zakayev's trip.

    Zakayev, who is now living in London, visited Berlin January 28-30 at the invitation of Gerd Weiskirchen, foreign-affairs speaker for the German Bundestag's SPD faction. The Chechen-bandit emissary, whose extradition is being demanded by Russia for quite a while now, took part in a public discussion dealing with Chechen peace-process opportunities in the German capital.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned Zakayev's visit. The trip's organizers aim to cast aspersions on the Russian leadership's efforts to settle the Chechen situation in line with political methods, the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Aleksander Yakovenko noted. Contacts between German representatives and an extremely dubious person, who doesn't represent the Chechen nation's interests in any way, don't match the current high level of Russian-German cooperation.

    The London court refused to extradite the Chechen-separatist emissary to Russia in November 2003. For its own part, the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office indicted Zakayev on 13 counts, including murder, terrorism and hostage-taking.

    The British Foreign Ministry subsequently announced a decision to grant political asylum to Zakayev.

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