Antiterrorist judge in Moscow over Chechen links

30th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

MOSCOW, June 29 (AFP) - Top French antiterrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere visited Moscow Wednesday to attend the questioning of a suspect said to have links with Chechen and possibly al-Qaeda extremists.

MOSCOW, June 29 (AFP) - Top French antiterrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere visited Moscow Wednesday to attend the questioning of a suspect said to have links with Chechen and possibly al-Qaeda extremists.

"I have come in the context of an international warrant to be present at the hearing of a person," he told reporters.

During his visit to Moscow he met senior members of the Russian secret services with whom he discussed joint action against terrorists, according to the Itar-Tass news agency, "and measures to prevent the terrorist activities of emissaries of al-Qaeda in the northern Caucasus and France."

According to a source in Moscow familiar with the case, Bruguiere had come to hear the interrogation of an "Algerian Islamist militant", arrested in the northern Caucasus by the Russians, whose name appeared during inquiries into the "Chechen network."

The questioning of the man in detention was due to produce "determining proof" in a case involving the arrest of four Islamist suspects, one a woman, in a Paris suburb in December 2002.

They were suspected of planning an attack and chemicals were found at the site. A few days later anti-terrorist police picked up four men in the same area and found chemicals that could be used for the manufacture of explosives.

Investigators said that some of those detained had served as volunteers in Chechnya and Afghanistan.

The Moscow source said that the attacks being prepared were directed at "targets in Paris" and would have used chemical products that could be dangerous in confined areas."

Bruguiere is on record in the Russian press as believing there are longstanding links between Chechen rebels and al-Qaeda.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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