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Chechen Rebel Remains Jailed in Denmark Pending Extradition Decision - 2002-11-12

A Danish court has ruled that a senior Chechen rebel must remain in jail pending a decision on whether he should be extradited to Russia to face terrorism charges.

A Copenhagen city court judge extended Chechen-rebel envoy Ahmed Zakayev's stay in jail two more weeks while Danish authorities consider whether evidence supplied by Russia is sufficient to extradite him.

Mr. Zakayev, an aide to Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov, was detained late last month while attending a conference of Chechen exiles in the Danish capital.

A Russian request for Mr. Zakayev's extradition, sent through the Interpol police agency, accuses the Chechen former government minister of terrorist acts between 1996 and 1999.

Denmark and Russia do not have an extradition treaty, but Danish officials say he could be handed over if the Russian evidence is convincing, and if they can be confident he will not face the death penalty.

In ordering his continued detention, the Copenhagen court said there is a risk Mr. Zakayev might flee to avoid prosecution.