Mongolian spymaster invited to Britain and arrested at airport over kidnapping claim

LONDON — A Mongolian spymaster thought he was coming to Britain for diplomatic and security talks. But within hours, he was whisked away and jailed for torture and kidnapping.

Bat Khurts, head of Mongolia's counterterrorism unit, was arrested by Scotland Yard detectives on a German warrant for allegedly arranging the kidnapping of a Mongolian refugee, Britain's Foreign Office said Friday. It was the first time that authorities had confirmed the arrest, which took place last month.

Khurts and three other special agents are accused of abducting the refugee, known by the single name Enkhbat. The man was allegedly kidnapped in 2003 in France and then returned to Mongolia where he was tortured and later died from chronic liver disease. Khurts has been accused of using his diplomatic cover and Mongolian missions in Germany and France to hide from justice.

Enkhbat had been suspected in the murder of Zorigt Sanjaasuren, a prominent Mongolian politician and government minister killed in 1998.

According to a British attorney who has seen the court documents but spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not involved in the case, then-prime minister Enkhbayar Nambar, who later became president, allegedly ordered the Mongolian intelligence service to carry out the kidnapping.

Enkhbat was allegedly driven across France to the Mongolian consulate in Brussels and on to Germany before being sent back to Mongolia, according to the attorney.

German prosecutors issued a European arrest warrant for Khurts in 2006.

The Mongolian government concedes Khurts actions were illegal but argues he was travelling with a diplomatic passport — diplomats are normally shielded from prosecution when travelling abroad. But under European arrest warrants, police are obligated to arrest the suspect, who must then prove they have diplomatic immunity.

The process is different from universal jurisdiction, a concept in international law that allows judges to issue warrants for nearly any visitor accused of grievous crimes, no matter where they live. British judges have been more open to the concept than those in other countries but the director of public prosecutions and police have more oversight in deciding whether to go through with an arrest.

Mongolia's Minister of Justice and Home Affairs Nyamdorj Tsend has sent an official letter to the British Foreign Office demanding Khurts' immediate release.

Deputy Premier Enkhbold Miegombo has also petitioned the British Justice Ministry, saying Khurts should be given diplomatic immunity.

"The arrest in no way amounts to a diplomatic or political statement by the British government," Britain's Foreign Office said in a statement on Friday. "The judicial authorities, which are wholly independent of government, are carrying out their independent legal functions in accordance with the law."

According to Mongolian media, Khurts has appeared in court three times since his arrest and imprisonment in Wandsworth prison. His next hearing is on Nov. 15.

Meanwhile, Mongolia's Foreign Ministry sent an official note of apology to the governments of France, Belgium and Germany, asking them not to press for Khurts' extradition, though it did not deny the charges.

"It was an illegal decision and action to kidnap and bring the person from Europe under diplomatic cover and in violation of international laws and treaties," said ministry spokesman, Monkhoon, who also uses just one name.

Enkhbat's former lawyer, Sanjaasuren, was quoted by Mongolian media on Friday saying his client had been tortured into confessing to a crime he did not commit. Sanjaasuren said he himself had been jailed for nine months on the charge of revealing state secrets merely for the act of protesting Enkhbat's abduction and torture.

___

Associated Press writer Ganbat Namjilsangarav contributed to this report from Ulan Bator and Raphael G. Satter from London.
source: AP
Share:

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Facebook page

Powered by Blogger.

Categories

Advertising in Mongolia An Culture Editorial of the Mongolianviews education Environmental protection Famous Mongolians Foreigners in Mongolia Inner Mongolia Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia agriculture Mongolia analysis Mongolia and Australia Mongolia and Belorussia Mongolia and Cambodia Mongolia and Canada Mongolia and central Asia Mongolia and China Mongolia and Cuba Mongolia and EU Mongolia and Germany Mongolia and Hongkong Mongolia and Hungary Mongolia and India Mongolia and Inner Mongolia Mongolia and Iran Mongolia and Italy Mongolia and Japan Mongolia and Kazakhstan Mongolia and Korea Mongolia and Kuwait Mongolia and Malaysia Mongolia and Nato Mongolia and North Korean Mongolia and Poland Mongolia and Russia Mongolia and Singapore Mongolia and South Korea Mongolia and Taiwan Mongolia and the world Mongolia and Tibet Mongolia and Turkey Mongolia and UK Mongolia and Ukraine Mongolia and UN Mongolia and USA Mongolia and Vietnam Mongolia Banking Mongolia civic society Mongolia crime Mongolia diplomacy Mongolia Economy Mongolia Education Mongolia Energy Mongolia Finance Mongolia Health Mongolia History Mongolia holiday Mongolia in international media Mongolia Industries Mongolia Joke Mongolia law Mongolia LGBT Mongolia medical Mongolia military Mongolia Mining Mongolia Mining Developments Mongolia Mortgage Mongolia natural disaster Mongolia Petroleum Mongolia public announcements Mongolia railways Mongolia Religion Mongolia society Mongolia Sports Mongolia Stamp Mongolia telecommunication Mongolia tourism Mongolia Urbanization Mongolia Wild Life Mongolian Agriculture Mongolian Archeology Mongolian Food Mongolian Gay Mongolian Government news Mongolian History Mongolian Military Mongolian Mining Development Mongolian Movie Mongolian News Mongolian Parliament Mongolian Political news Mongolian Press Mongolian Songs Mongolian Women Mongolian Youth Mongolians abroad Moninfo Opinion Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement Photo news Press Release Rio Tinto Tavan Tolgoi coal mine Ulaanbaatar development Weird expatriates in Mongolia

Blog Archive

Followers

Live Traffic