Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 34

For the Past Five Hundred Years Russia and Denmark Have Lived in Peace. What Has Changed?” asked the subtitle of an item appearing in the November 5 issue of Moskovskie Novosti. And in an update of events that have transpired in Denmark since October 30 the arrest of the Chechen separatists’ top negotiator, Akhmed Zakaev, at the request of the Russian government, the Copenhagen Post observed in its November 8 issue: “As the ‘Zakaev affair’ shuffled into its second week, the possibility of the Chechen leader, currently under in arrest in Copenhagen, being extradited to Russia seemed to become slimmer by the minute. A legal ‘dream team’ of international and Danish experts has been assembled to fight Russian extradition demands against Akhmed Zakaev, and, if all else fails, there is now a genuine possibility of Zakaev’s seeking political asylum. British heavyweight Mark Shwartz and Danish lawyer Tyge Trier, who have both been involved with the Strasbourg Human Rights Commission in Strasbourg, have been hired by British actress Vanessa Redgrave to help Zakaev.”

In addition, the Post continued: “The human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, which has documented all war crimes committed by both sides since the war in Chechnya began, says it has no evidence that Zakaev has ever been involved in terrorism…. In the new material presented to [Danish Justice Minister Lene] Espersen by Russian Procurator General Vladimir Ustinov, Zakaev is accused of being part of a ‘terrorist gang’ of 1,500 men that has kidnapped and murdered civilians, including pregnant women and priests…. A spokesman for the Danish Immigration Service says that Zakaev has a good chance of being granted asylum in this country if he chooses.”