JUSTICE Minister Tomáš Borec has approved the extradition of Chechen refugee Anzor Ch. to the Russian Federation, the SITA newswire reported on June 2. Russia asked for his extradition, together with Ali I., as they are suspected of banditry during the war in Chechnya.

Anzor Ch. spent nine years in custody awaiting extradition. He repeatedly failed to obtain asylum in Slovakia, and his case did not succeed in the Slovak courts or at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), where he complained about the dismissal of his asylum application.

“The ECHR has dismissed the precaution which prevented the extradition of Mr A.Ch., and subsequently dismissed his second complaint,” spokesperson for the Justice Ministry Alexandra Donevová said, as quoted by SITA, adding that since there are no legal obstacles, Borec approved the extradition to Russia.

Anzor Ch., after a long-time proceeding over his application for asylum, turned to the ECHR, claiming he decided that he wanted to be extradited to Russia. The court subsequently abolished the precaution on March 18, SITA wrote.

Hana Demeterová from the Help a Man civic association, who has been dealing with the case for several years, said that Anzor Ch. had just surrendered and asked for extradition. Yet, he then regretted that decision and sent an apology to the ECHR, saying he does not want to be extradited.

“He made a bad decision under big pressure [due to] not only his own situation, from which he could not see a way out, and lost faith that anybody in Slovakia would help him, but also because he was concerned about the lives of his relatives in Chechnya,” Demeterová wrote in an open letter sent to the Justice Ministry, in which she asked the minister not to approve the extradition, as cited by SITA.

The ECHR meanwhile dismissed the complaint of Anzor Ch. on April 15, and all that was needed for his extradition was the minister’s approval.

“When deciding [the minister] took into consideration the guarantees of Russia that his human rights will be observed,” Donevová said, as quoted by SITA, adding that the ECHR considered the guarantees sufficient.

Back in 2006 the Slovak media wrote about Anzor Ch. and Ali I. as terrorist suspects. They are suspected of killing two employees of the Interior Ministry in Grozny back in 2001, SITA wrote.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.