28. Nov. 2005


Chechen president says
Zakayev can return if pardoned

GROZNY, (RIA Novosti) - Chechen separatist emissary Akhmed Zakayev can return to Chechnya if he is granted amnesty, Chechen President Alu Alkhanov said Monday.

The Chechen president met with Andreas Gross, head of a PACE delegation to the November 27 Chechen parliamentary elections, who said he intended to meet with Zakayev in London in December. Gross said he would like to deliver a message from the president to Zakayev, but Alkhanov ruled out any contact with Zakayev.

«If the relevant authorities grant him amnesty, he may return to Chechnya and contribute to its revival. Otherwise, it is not me who must address him, but those vested with pertinent powers,» Alkhanov said.

The president said 7,000 people, including those similar to Zakayev, had been pardoned in Chechnya. «Zakayev is a criminal, but I am a realist and I know that terrorists become politicians and Noble Prize laureates,» Alkhanov said.

Andreas Gross

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