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Last Updated: Friday, 24 December, 2004, 10:39 GMT
Qatar extradites Russian agents
The scene of the explosion
Yandarbiyev was killed in a car explosion outside a mosque
Russian intelligence officers convicted in Qatar for the murder of Chechen ex-president Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, have returned to Moscow.

Earlier Qatari officials confirmed that the two men would be handed over to serve out the remainder of their life sentences in Russia.

Mr Yandarbiyev, who fled Chechnya after the start of Russia's second military campaign, died in a car explosion.

The case caused a diplomatic row between Moscow and Doha.

Mr Yandarbiyev served a brief term as an interim Chechen president after his predecessor, Dzhokhar Dudayev, was killed by a Russian missile in 1996.

Reputed as an Islamist radical, he then lost election to the moderate and then pro-Moscow Aslan Maskhadov.

After the Russian troops invaded Chechnya for the second time in 1999, Mr Yandarbiyev emigrated to Qatar.

Car bomb

Russia demanded his extradition on charges of terrorism and links to al-Qaeda, but Qatar refused.

Mr Yandarbiyev was killed by a bomb planted in his car when he returned home from a mosque in February.

Two bodyguards also died and his son was injured in the attack.

The Qatari authorities arrested and charged three Russian nationals with murder, but one was soon freed because of his diplomatic status.

The other two were sentenced to life by the Qatari court, which ruled that they were acting on the orders from the Russian government.

Moscow insisted that the men were innocent.

The case shocked Qatar - a tiny oil-rich state, closely allied to the US, which prides itself on its low crime rate and tight security.

Russian agents lose murder appeal
29 Jul 04 |  Middle East
Russia 'behind Chechen murder'
30 Jun 04 |  Middle East
Qataris 'seek death' for Russians
08 Jun 04 |  Middle East
Obituary: Zelimkhan Yanderbiyev
13 Feb 04 |  Europe

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