Poland charges Russian citizen with being ISIS mercenary in Syria

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish prosecutors have charged a Russian citizen of Chechen nationality with fighting illegally as a mercenary with Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, Polish authorities said in a statement on Friday.

Alleged to have fought in Syria from late 2013 until the end of 2014, the Russian man identified as “Kyuri A.” has been under arrest in Poland since March 24.

He will face trial in Poland on charges which carry a maximum penalty of up to 8 years in prison.

“The man is charged with fighting alongside ISIS in Syria and also with illegal ownership of a weapon,” the spokesman for Mariusz Kaminski, the Polish minister co-ordinating secret services, said in a statement.

The charged man possessed an automatic rifle without the necessary permit, Polish authorities also said.

Reuters has asked the Russian foreign ministry and Russian Federal Security Service for comment, but received no immediate reply. Chechen President spokesman Alvi Karimov said he knew nothing about the case.

Reporting by Marcin Goettig; Additional reporting by Maria Tsvetkova in MOSCOW; Editing by Toby Chopra