Mongolian security chief loses extradition appeal in Britain

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A top Mongolian security official lost an appeal Friday against extradition from Britain to Germany to face kidnapping charges after judges dismissed his claims he had been lured to London by the government.

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

He claims he was lured to Britain with the promise of anti-terror talks so he could be detained on a European arrest warrant, and the case has threatened to derail diplomatic and trade relations between Mongolia and Britain.

A court ruled in February that Khurts could be extradited to Germany, but his legal team challenged this at the High Court in London, arguing that he should have been covered by diplomatic immunity and should never have been detained.

Judges at the High Court on Friday dismissed his argument about immunity and also rejected the suggestion that he had been lured to Britain.

Lord Justice Alan Moses said there was "no question of any official in the United Kingdom luring the appellant to this country in the belief that he was going to meet United Kingdom officials to discuss security matters".

The European arrest warrant issued by Germany alleges Khurts was a member of a team that kidnapped and drugged Mongolian refugee Damiran Enkhbat, wanted for the assassination of a Mongolian minister, in France in May 2003.

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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