Tuesday, October 13, 1998 Published at 22:17 GMT 23:17 UK
Hostages alive, says Chechen president
President Maskhadov greeted by Solidarity MP Maciej Jankowski
The three Britons and one New Zealander were abducted from the Chechen capital, Grozny, following a shoot-out between their bodyguards and a gang of kidnappers.
He said Chechen security forces were doing all they could to discover where they were being held and by whom, but had so far been unsuccessful.
A BBC correspondent in Warsaw, James Coomarasamy, says the Chechen leader denied claims that the engineers had been working in Chechnya officially for a government-run telecommunications company.
He said the first he had known of their presence was when they were captured.
Their abduction came just a fortnight after the release of two British aid workers who were held hostage in Chechnya for 15 months.
A spokesman for Chechnya's security ministry reported last week that the hostages were safe, but said no demands or conditions for their release had been set.
The hostages - Britons Peter Kennedy, Darren Hickey, and Rudolf Petschi, and New Zealand's Stanley Shaw - were kidnapped on 3 October while working for Granger Telecom, a British telephone company, installing 300,000 telephone lines across Chechnya.
The work of laying the lines for Chechen Telecom, believed to be worth tens of millions of dollars, has been suspended since the four men were kidnapped.