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Public Chamber to keep close watch on Russian convicts in Libya

November 22, 2012, 19:55 UTC+3

The Russian Foreign Ministry keeps taking active measures in a bid to settle the problem of two Russians convicted in Libya

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MOSCOW, November 22 (Itar-Tass) —— The Public Chamber is going to keep a close watch on two Russian convicts in Libya – Alexander Shadrov and Vladimir Dolgov.

Public Chamber member Anatoly Kucherena has said “the Public Chamber’s commission is now drafting messages to the Foreign Ministry and the Prosecutor General’s Office, in which it insists on probing into whether Russian diplomats’ actions agreed with the law.”

“Apparently, the Foreign Ministry is doing its utmost to save our people in distress and to bring them back home. Let us hope their efforts will be a success,” he said. Kucherena pointed out that the Russian diplomats’ actions in Libya were wrong from the outset.

“I could have never thought it is possible to bring the situation to where it is now. It is clear that certain investigative measures were being taken. But it was possible to put forward our own terms and to do that on the premises of the Russian embassy, thereby ensuring the safety of our citizens,” he said.

“There must be a serious probe and the proper measures are to be taken. The point at issue is the responsibility of our diplomatic personnel, who permitted the violation of our constitution. The fundamental law says that a Russian citizen cannot be expelled out of Russia or extradited to another state,” Kucherena recalled.

The Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, Konstantin Dolgov, said on Wednesday that any claims to the effect the Russian embassy in Tripoli had in fact extradited Shadrov and Dolgov to the Libyans were utterly wrong.

He said the Russian diplomats had managed to persuade the militant group that had detained the Russians to let the suspects be moved to the Russian embassy, on the condition, though they would be brought for questioning whenever necessary. After one of such questionings the Libyan side unexpectedly refused to return the Russian citizens, saying that there were sufficient reasons for keeping them in custody in connection with the newly found evidence pointing to both Russians involvement in assistance to forces loyal to Gaddafi. The negotiations with the militant group’s commanders ended inconclusively. As for other bodies of power that might help settle the problem, there were none in Libya at that time.

“The Russian Foreign Ministry keeps taking active measures in a bid to settle the problem of two Russians convicted in Libya,” the diplomat said. “Systematic pressures are being put on the Libyan authorities whose jurisdiction encompasses this issue in order to secure our compatriots’ early return home.”


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