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Russian woman suspected of Libyan officer murder alive, but whereabouts unknown

January 28, 2014, 10:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian diplomats were evacuated after the embassy was looted by a mob of local residents, who got indignant with murder of the Libya army officer on October 1, 2013

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Yekaterina Ustyuzhaninova
© Grinchuk
Aftermath of the blast near Russia's embassy in Tripoli

MOSCOW, January 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Charge d’Affaires a.i. in Libya Leonid Frolov noted that Russian citizen Yekaterina Ustyuzhaninova, who is suspected of murder of a Libyan officer, is alive, but her whereabouts remain unknown.

“Unfortunately, no Russian diplomats have met her yet. The only thing that we are aware of that she is alive. We do not have an opportunity to meet her yet. Since she is not being held neither by state authorities, nor the army, nor the police, but held by a security formation in Tripoli that consists of former militants of revolutionary units, it is hard to find her,” Frolov said in an interview with Izvestia daily on Tuesday.

In December 2013, Russian diplomats, who had to leave Libya two months before this, came back in Tripoli. They were evacuated, because Russian embassy was looted by a mob of local residents, who got indignant with murder of the Libya army officer on October 1, 2013. Ustyuzhaninova was arrested on accusation in this crime.

Frolov also noted that Russian citizens Vladimir Dolgov and Alexander Shadrov, who were sentenced to ten years and life in prison, respectively, on accusation of collaboration with Gaddafi’s troops, were transferred from the city of Zintan to a Tripoli suburb. “They are being kept not in prison, but at a small military base, where they live in trailers under guard. They are pending civil trial,” the Russian diplomat noted.

He also noted that “the Justice Ministries of Libya and Russia are in talks over signing an agreement on exchange of prisoners, so, extradition of prisoners for further serving of sentence in the homeland.” “The Justice Ministries of the countries are working out an agreement to this effect.” “When we sign it, then we will have the agenda for talks,” Frolov suggested.

In his words, the Russian Embassy in Tripoli that is situated in the hotel will open in early February, “it is just needed to wait for a diplomatic brigade from Moscow to arrive that will settle the issues of visas”.

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