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Russia Releases Tajik Political Figure

7 April 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Russia has reportedly released a Tajik opposition figure who was arrested in Moscow at Tajikistan's request.

But Anna Savitskaya, a lawyer for the political figure, today told RFE/RL that Russia refused to extradite her client to Tajikistan:

"As far as I know, the Russian Prosecutor General's office rejected the request of the Tajik Prosecutor General's office to extradite (Makhmadruzi) Iskandarov on 3 April," Savitskaya said. "I cannot provide any information about his whereabouts."

The lawyer said that Russia's prosecutor general's office refused to extradite Makhmadruzi Iskandarov because it didn't have enough evidence to send him to Tajikistan.

Makhmadruzi Iskandarov is the leader of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan.

In December last year, Tajikistan's chief prosecutor (Bobojan Bobokhanov) said Iskandarov was suspected of links to an organized terror group, as well as embezzling millions of dollars.

Iskandarov was detained in Moscow in December at Tajikistan's request.

The Democratic Party of Tajikistan claims their leader was detained for political reasons. (RFE/RL)