Finnish Court Refuses Russia’s Extradition Request
On December 22nd, Finland’s Supreme Court issued a legal opinion to the Finnish Ministry of Justice related to the extradition request of Russia for a Chechen asylum seeker K. They found no basis for the extradition demand.
According to the court’s records, the Russian Federation sent Finland an extradition demand on the basis of the European Convention on extradition between member states.
Russia alleged that Chechen asylum seeker K. was a member of illegal armed formations from 2000-2002 in Chechnya. Russia mentioned that K. participated in attacks from July 27-29, 2002 against Russian soldiers in the Itum-Kalinsky district of Chechnya, and during the attack eight Russian soldiers were killed.
K. presented a written statement to the court. He simply refused the allegations. He pointed out that his asylum procedure in Finland is still continuing, however he mentioned that if he is sent back to Chechnya or Russia, he will face persecution, torture and other ill-treatment because of his ethnic background and political activity. He denies participation in illegal armed formations. He said that he participated in political activities to achieve independence for Chechnya and only ever defended himself.
The Finnish court pointed out that in 2002 there was an armed conflict between the Russian and Chechen sides, therefore the motivations are totally different from a usual crime and K.’s action cannot be described as terrorism because it was not directed against civilians.
Finally, the court concluded that there is no basis to the extradition of K., and ordered that with this decision he must be released immediately.
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco