British ambassador to Russia Tony Brenton has said his country is ready to extradite Chechen separatist figure Akhmed Zakayev if Russian prosecutors manage to prove he has been involved in terrorism, Russian news agencies reported on Friday.
The ambassador said that if the Russian prosecution service provided evidence of Zakayev’s involvement in terrorism, Britain would immediately extradite him. He also added that until then Zakayev, who has received political asylum in the United Kingdom, enjoys the same level of protection as any British citizen.
Zakayev has been living in the UK since the end of 2003 after being granted political asylum. Moscow has sent Britain seven requests for Zakayev’s extradition, but on each occasion British judges found the evidence unconvincing.
Tony Brenton also announced today that he backed behind-the-scenes cooperation between Moscow and London to counter terrorism, in particular the exchange of information between the relevant services. The ambassador also added that Russia and Britain were planning to develop cooperation in monitoring financial flows and retaining telephone calls and e-mails.