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6 Feb, 2007 18:10

Russian murder suspect could be extradited from Sweden

Russian murder suspect could be extradited from Sweden

A man suspected of assisting in the abduction and murder of a Russian journalist, Vladimir Yatsina, could be turned over to the Russian authorities. The decision has to be ratified by the Swedish Supreme Court and the Government.

Magomed Uspayev, a 29-year-old native of Chechnya was detained in the Swedish city of Gothenburg in August last year. 

Uspayev was on an international wanted list for his alleged connection with the kidnapping and murder of an Itar-Tass news agency photographer in 1999. 

Vladimir Yatsina went missing in Chechnya on July 19 that year. According to reports, he had been held hostage in a basement along with ten other captives. Some of those were able to escape from the gunmen and said it was Uspayev who handed Yatsina over to the bandits.

Investigators suggest that Yatsina was killed in February 2000, and his body has not been found.

The Russian Federal forces had started searching for Upsoev around Russia soon after the abduction. They found out that he had settled in Sweden in 2002.

The Russian Prosecutor General's office requested his extradition from the Swedish authorities and sent extra information on the suspect.

In August last year, Uspayev was detained by Police under the extradition warrant.

However, the decision by the Swedish Prosecutor General must now be ratified by the country's Supreme Court.

‘The Prosecutor General has given his opinion in a written statement to the Supreme Court. The next step needed is for the Supreme Court to decide whether or not there are any grounds for refusal when it comes for extradition from Sweden. And finally, it would be the decision of Swedish government, who decides on whether or not to extradite a person from Sweden,’ Ola Lofgren, Swedish Chief Prosecutor, says.

Meanwhile, Uspayev's lawyer says he denies all the charges against him.

If he is extradited, Uspayev will be tried in Chechnya, and might spend up to fifteen years in jail if he's found guilty.