Ukraine stays extradition of Putin murder plot suspect

KIEV Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:56am EDT

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at an awards ceremony for Russia's Olympians in Moscow's Kremlin August 15, 2012. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at an awards ceremony for Russia's Olympians in Moscow's Kremlin August 15, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

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KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine has suspended the extradition to Russia of a suspect in a foiled plot to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin, after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said it would review the case, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

A Ukrainian court this month ruled that Adam Osmayev should be extradited to Russia but he challenged the ruling in the Strasbourg-based court. He has denied plotting to blow up Putin.

"Ukraine has suspended Adam Osmayev's extradition. The Prosecutor General's office on August 17 received a ruling by the ECHR informing it that the court was reviewing Osmayev's appeal against the extradition," Interfax news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.

The court's press service confirmed that it had notified the Ukrainian authorities of the appeal and recommended, in line with standard practice, that the extradition be suspended pending its review.

Shortly before Russia's March 4 presidential election, Ukrainian state media reported a plot by Islamist rebels to kill Putin, who then served as prime minister and returned to the Kremlin for a third term as president after the vote.

Russian state television said the plotters, seized after one blew himself up in a flat in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa, had planned to plant a bomb in central Moscow to kill Putin on his way to work.

Putin's opponents dismissed the report as a crude attempt to boost the former KGB spy's popularity.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Additonal Reporting by Pierre France in Strasbourg; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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