Bulgaria refuses to extradite Chechen man to Russia

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A court in Bulgaria on Thursday granted an appeal by a Chechen refugee against his extradition to Russia where he is wanted on charges of terrorism.

The court of appeal in Plovdiv granted Ahmed Chataev -- who was detained by police on the Bulgarian-Turkish border on May 19 -- his appeal against an earlier extradition order issued by the regional court in Haskovo.

The Plovdiv court ruled that Chataev's refugee status, which he was granted in Austria in 2003, remains valid in all countries signatory to the Geneva Convention which include Bulgaria.

Chataev is wanted in Chechnya for "participation in an armed group and for the recruitment of persons for terrorist crimes and for financing terrorism."

© 2011 AFP

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