Archive for August 23rd, 2012

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Osmayev seeks asylum in Ukraine

August 23, 2012

Quite topically, I mentioned Adam Osmayev in a recent post relating to Russian opposition activists seeking asylum in Ukraine only a week ago.

As is quite apparent, if you know anything about Mr Osmayev’s case, he is not really a standard asylum seeker.  After all, not many asylum seekers in Ukraine have actually managed to blow up a rented apartment with a home made explosive device assembled in preparation for an assassination attempt (whether it be on Mr Putin as claimed, or somebody else), here in Odessa.

As I wrote last week, I didn’t expect Mr Osmayev to be extradited back to Russia despite his appeal against extradition at the courts of Odessa being denied, as it was quite obvious that appeals to the ECfHR would follow and as such Ukraine would stay his extradition.

That stay of extradition to Russia has now been confirmed, much to the surprise of the Ukrainian media it seems, despite due process and the appeals system preventing the immediate extradition as well known to anybody with the slightest awareness of international extradition law.

That said, maybe the surprise is not that the media didn’t know the law and expected due process, but that they are surprised Ukraine is abiding by them.

Anyway, as I wrote, he has appealed to the ECfHR and he has also, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ukraine, now asked Ukraine for asylum.

That makes him a very rare case whereby he could, if asylum is granted by Ukraine, go to prison here for the offences he committed in Odessa.  Namely “The creation of a terrorist organisation (with the other two men involved) under Article 258-3, and plotting a terrorist attack under Articles 14 and 258 of The Criminal Code of Ukraine respectively.  For good measure, Article 263 covers the illegal treatment of weapons, ammunition and explosives – before we think about any criminal conspiracy under the said Code.

In fact a creative prosecutor could come up with about a dozen offences.

Anyway, even though the ECfHR will not have even begun to assess his case regarding extradition yet, the fact he has now officially applied for asylum adds another spanner into the works relating to his extradition back to Russia, for his application for asylum must now be heard and quite possibly appealed if initially refused.

I do wonder though, just what benefits ultimately lay with being granted asylum in Ukraine as far as he is concerned.  Whether in prison here or not when eventually released, Mr Osmayev will remain well within the reach of a vindictive Russia if Russia truly wants its pound of flesh from him.

After all, Mr Osmayev and co-conspirators allegedly all came to Odessa to plot and prepare for their nefarious deed, no different to the Russian criminal class who come here to take sanctuary within the ranks of the Odessa criminal class when things get too hot in Russia.

Anybody who knows anything about the criminal class here knows that it is very fluid and often  works quite autonomously amongst itself unless there is a need for unity.  That necessarily dictates that Mr Osmayev will never be safe in Ukraine as he will never know who is friend and who is foe.

Quite possibly, extradited or not, or granted asylum or not, he may very well just be delaying his fate at the hands of Russia if the decision is made to pursue him by fair means and he be returned, and most likely foul should he stay in Ukraine.

A fact that probably has not escaped him to be honest.

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