by Ted Lipien

FreeMediaOnline.org, Free Media Online, Dec. 29, 2006 — Vanessa Redgrave and Akhmed ZakayevExiled Chechen emissary Akhmed Zakayev revealed that although dissident Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko had converted to Islam on his deathbed, he had been considering such a move for a long time. Mr. Zakayev said that Mr. Litvinenko grew up in the North Caucasus among Muslims and was always interested in their religion. According to Mr. Zakayev, Mr. Litvineko was ashamed of Russia’s actions in the Chechen war and this also influenced his conversion. Mr. Zakayev said that Mr. Litvinenko wanted to show that not all Russians behave the same way as those responsible for atrocities in Chechnya. Mr. Litvinenko died in a London hospital on November 23 from exposure to the highly toxic radioactive substance polonium-210.

Mr. Zakayev was granted political asylum in Great Britain. The British government has refused Moscow’s requests for his extradition. The Russian authorities accuse Mr. Zakayev of foreknowledge of terrorist attacks and other crimes involving hundreds of killings and captures of Russian servicemen during the separatist wars in Chechnya. He has denied these accusations.

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