Putin plot suspects unlikely to be extradited from Ukraine (Lead)February 28th, 2012 - 8:52 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, Feb 28 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The suspects in an alleged plot to assassinate Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who were detained in Ukraine, will not be extradited to Russia until they serve prison time for crimes committed in Ukraine.
The Russian state television said Monday that Ukrainian security services had arrested the two suspects in the Ukrainian port of Odessa last month. Footage on Russia’s state-run Channel One showed both men admitting to the conspiracy.
According to sources in the Ukrainian State Security Service, the detainees are also suspected of organising a bomb attack in Odessa Jan 4, 2012, the Kommersant daily reported Tuesday.
However, a Ukrainian law enforcement source said the two men were being intensively questioned by investigators from Russia’s Federal Security Service.
“Even at the Odessa pre-trial detention centre, they are interrogating the suspects without the participation of our officers,” the source said.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has dismissed as “blasphemous” the media reports that said the alleged assassination attempt was a ploy to boost Putin’s popularity ahead of the March 4 presidential polls.
He said Putin has not been affected by the plot.
“It hasn’t affected either the mood or working rhythm of Vladimir Putin,” Peskov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid.
Russian security analyst Andrei Soldatov alleged the plot was just a ploy to boost Putin’s popularity.
“Putin could profit from this idea to show that he has everything under control and that he is the one we should be grateful to for our security and stability,” Soldatov said.
Putin’s spokesman said the thwarted assassination attempt was orchestrated by Putin’s enemies seeking to “oppose everything he does, namely the stabilisation of the situation in the North Caucasus”.
A TV report said the assassins had been dispatched by Chechen warlord Doku Umarov.
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Tags: alleged assassination attempt, bomb attack, federal security service, kommersant, komsomolskaya pravda, law enforcement source, north caucasus, port of odessa, presidential polls, ria novosti, russian prime minister, russian security, russian state television, security analyst, state security service, tv report, ukrainian law, ukrainian port, ukrainian state, vladimir putin