Mongolian spy chief blasts British 'insult'

5th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Mongolian spy chief told a London court on Wednesday that an extradition case against him was an "insult" and claimed the government had lured him to Britain to detain him for alleged kidnapping.

Bat Khurts, 41, a key figure in Mongolia's National Security Council, was arrested on a German warrant as he flew into London's Heathrow airport on September 17, for allegedly abducting a Mongolian murder suspect in 2003.

Khurts told an extradition hearing that he had been invited to London through the British embassy in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator, in order to hold talks with British security officials on anti-terror cooperation.

"To be honest with you it is an insult," Khurts said in Russian through an interpreter when asked to explain why he did not give full details of the alleged arrangements for meetings in his visa application.

"The National Security Council of Mongolia, if they are planning to meet with their colleagues in another country, they do not tell everybody about this," he added.

The remarks by Khurts were the first he has made in public since his arrest. Wearing a grey sweatshirt and blue jeans, he blew kisses to relatives sitting in the court.

At an earlier hearing, Khurts said in a statement that British and Mongolian officials in London and Ulan Bator began discussing in November 2009 the possibility of a visit by a Mongolian official to London.

The Foreign Office has denied any formal meetings were arranged for Khurts' seven-day trip.

The extradition hearing was adjourned until February 3. A separate bail hearing will take place on January 12.

The German warrant alleges that Khurts was a member of a snatch squad which kidnapped and drugged Mongolian refugee Damiran Enkhbat, wanted for the assassination of a Mongolian minister, in France in May 2003.

According to media reports, it claims that Khurts drove a car carrying Enkhbat to the Mongolian consulate in Brussels and then to Germany, where he was put on a flight to Ulan Bator.

© 2011 AFP

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