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Sweden: Supreme Court Rejects Extradition of Chechen Rebel

(June 2, 2008) On June 10, 2008, the Supreme Court of Sweden rejected a request by Russia, made in July 2007, to extradite a Chechen rebel suspected of the commission of “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.” (Swedish Supreme Court Rules Against Extraditing Chechen Rebel to Russia, AFP (North European Service), June 10, 2008, Open Source Center No. EUP20080610102037.) The Court stated that the alleged crimes were “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” and “are to be considered as political due to the political motivation for them.” The 39-year-old Chechen suspect claimed that he was being persecuted by the Russian authorities for such activities as publishing a Web site critical of the government and he told the court that Moscow's charges were based on “incorrect statements” made by the authorities that were aimed at securing his forcible return to Russia “for political reasons.” (Id.)