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03.08.2007

Lawyer demands access to Chechen threatened with extradition to Russia

   

Lemma Susarov was detained by police at the Kyiv Railway Station in early June.  He has been held in SIZO [pre-trial detention centre] No. 13 since then.  No charges have been laid, but a Kyiv district court sanctioned his remand in custody until the Russian authorities present documents showing that he faces criminal charges in Russia.

Lawyer Oleh Levytsky has sent an open letter to the Prosecutor General demanding that he be allowed to see Lemma Susarov and pointing out that the latter has been refused any meetings with lawyers despite repeated attempts by human rights groups to provide him with the legal assistance both domestic and international law requires.

Human rights groups and the Human Rights Ombudsperson are calling for Lemma Susarov’s immediate release from detention.  A report on the Human Rights Ombudsperson’s website says that Susarov was granted prima facie refugee status by the Azerbaijan UNHCR Mission.

Oleh Levytsky points out that on 1 August, a senior aide in the Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office refused yet again to allow lawyers in to see Mr Susarov.  She claimed that the latter had not expressed a wish to have a lawyer (!).  When confronted with considerable evidence in writing to the contrary, including a hand-written agreement on legal aid signed by the detained man, she was unable to respond in any more adequate fashion than by calling an end to the meeting.

Mr Levytsky is therefore also asking the Prosecutor General to carry out an immediate investigation into how prosecutor’s office staff could have persistently refused a detained person access to a lawyer.

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