Lawyer: Mongolian chief had immunity from arrest

A Mongolian spy chief allegedly lured to the UK so he could be arrested at London's Heathrow Airport should not have been detained because he is covered by diplomatic immunity, a court has heard.

Bat Khurts, the head of the executive office of Mongolia's National Security Council, was on official government business which protected him from arrest, his lawyer Alun Jones told magistrates.

Khurts legal team claim the 41-year-old was duped into coming to the UK so he could be arrested and jailed under a European Arrest Warrant and extradited to Germany at the behest of the German government.

He appeared at City of Westminster magistrates court in London where he is fighting extradition.

Mr Jones said the spy chief was told he was coming to the UK for high-level Government talks on a new era of intelligence cooperation relating to Muslim fundamentalism. But instead, as soon as his Aeroflot flight touched down at Heathrow airport last September, he was handcuffed and arrested.

Mr Jones said Khurts was a senior civil servant representing his government and was therefore covered under the Special Missions Convention which granted him immunity from detention and arrest.

He told the court: "The defendant was plainly on a special mission. He has immunities and should not have been arrested and should not be in custody. They know he's a very senior civil servant, know he's on government business to further diplomatic relations that constitute a special mission."

Mr Khurts is fighting extradition to Germany over claims he was involved in the kidnap, false imprisonment and return of a Mongolian national suspected of murdering a government official.

It is alleged Khurts was involved in the kidnap of Enkhbat Damiran from France, driving him to Berlin, drugging him and flying him back to Mongolia.

The hearing was adjourned until February 3 at the same court. Khurts was remanded in custody until a bail hearing on January 12.

Source: The Press Association of UK

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