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Azerbaijan: Russia Extradites Former Prime Minister

Moscow, 27 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russia's Interior Ministry said today that former Azerbaijani prime minister Surat Gusseinov, who fled to Russia after being accused of a coup attempt, has been extradited.

A ministry spokesman said that Gusseinov was extradited to Azerbaijan late yesterday, but gave few other details.

Our correspondent in Baku reported yesterday that Gusseinov had been arrested in Russia's Tula Oblast as a result of joint efforts between Russian and Azeri law enforcement agencies.

Besides the 1994 coup attempt, Azeri authorities have implicated Gusseinov in a series of other offenses, including illegal weapons sales and drug smuggling.

In 1993, Gusseinov led a military uprising that overthrew the then National Front government. Gusseinov was then instrumental in bringing to power President Heydar Aliev.