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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Zakayev's Detention Extended

APBritish actress Vanessa Redgrave and Chechen rebel representative Osman Ferzaouli, left, outside the Copenhagen court Tuesday.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- A Danish court ruled Tuesday that Chechen rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev should remain in custody for another two weeks while Denmark decides whether to extradite him to Russia, where he is accused of having links to attacks on civilians.

Zakayev, a top aide of Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov, was arrested Oct. 30 at Moscow's request after a conference of rebels and human rights activists in Copenhagen.

The Copenhagen city court ordered Zakayev, 43, jailed until Nov. 26 after determining that he could pose a threat to the investigation into Russia's extradition request and that he could flee the country.

Defense attorney Ervin Birk Nielsen said he could not discuss what happened at the hearing, but his client had appealed the decision to the Eastern High Court.

"We plead for his release," Birk Nielsen said after the three-hour detention hearing, which was closed to the public. "The basis to hold him is, according to me, not sufficient."

Denmark, which has not released details about the evidence of specific allegations against Zakayev, has until the end of the month to make a final decision on the extradition request.

The two countries do not have an extradition treaty, but the Danish Justice Ministry has said that Zakayev could be handed over to the Russians if it receives sufficient proof and assurances that the suspect will not face the death penalty.

"It goes without saying that we consider this a good sign," Russian Prosecutor General's Office spokesman Leonid Troshin told Interfax.

He expressed hope that "the Danish authorities are departing from the policy of double standards" and dealing with the problem of terrorism "in all seriousness."

Zakayev's supporters, including British actress Vanessa Redgrave, were hopeful that the appeal would be successful. "An innocent person will never stay in prison," said Osman Ferzaouli, a Copenhagen-based Chechen rebel representative.

Russian prosecutors have said that Zakayev led a gang that engaged in killings of civilians, police and other officials, trading of wounded and dead Russian bodies and the invasion of Dagestan in the summer of 1999.