Chechen separatist leader surrenders

Chechen separatist Siraj al-Din Ramazanov has surrendered to Russian authorities in Dagestan.

    Ramazanov 'repented' for what he called 'a stupid act'

    According to the Russian Kommersant newspaper on Wednesday, Ramazanov had made a deal with Moscow through his lawyer and turned himself in at a police station in Makhachkala.

    The resistance fighter who was appointed to head an "Islamic State of Dagestan" during a brief incursion by Chechen separatists in 1999, had been living in exile in Baku with his wife and four children.

    The 48-year-old was taken straight to court where he was charged with "organising and taking part in an armed revolt".

    Televised message

    Ramazanov said he "regretted" and "repented" for having committed what he called a "stupid act".

    But he insisted he had not taken part directly in the 1999 incursion, Kommersant reported.

    Freed but barred from leaving the region, Ramazanov went to the local television station and recorded a message to be broadcast in Dagestan and Chechnya, calling on Dagestanis fighting the Russian army to lay down their arms.

    Previous surrenders

    Ramazanov was the second Dagestani Islamist suspected of being linked to the 1999 uprising to give himself up within a month.

    Adallo Aliyev, 72, returned on 5 July from Turkey where he had been living in exile and was placed under house arrest.

    Another separatist leader, Muhammad Tagayev, 56, was arrested in April shortly after returning to Dagestan and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

    SOURCE: AFP


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