The Sunday Slam, Part III: More Evidence of the Kremlin’s Lies About its Constitution

La Russophobe has already explained in detail how the Kremlin is lying brazenly about the content of the Russian Constitution, claiming it prevents the extradition of Andrei Lugovoi for trial on charges of murdering dissident Alexander Litvinenko in London. Now lawyer Robert Amsterdam heaps yet more evidence on the pile:

The Former Secretary-General of the Council of Europe writes a letter to the Financial Times arguing that in fact Russia is legally able to extradite Andrei Lugovoi.

Article opens door to extradition of Lugovoi

From Prof Daniel Tarschys


The claim that the Russian constitution prevents the extradition of the former Russian agent Andrei Lugovoi is contestable.

It is true that one article in its bill of rights and freedoms contains what seems to be a blanket guarantee against the extradition of Russian citizens, but a subsequent article opens the door for extradition of indicted persons on the basis of federal law or international treaty.

On December 10 1999, the Russian Federation ratified three international treaties on extradition (Council of Europe conventions ETS 024, 086 and 098).

The special reservations and declarations attached to these ratifications do not seem to vindicate the refusal to extradite Mr Lugovoi, but any objections to the UK request should at any rate be based on these texts rather than on the Russian constitution.

Daniel Tarschys,
Professor in Political Science,
University of Stockholm,
Stockholm, Sweden

It’s just amazing that Russia can be so fully neo-Soviet as to think it can get away with telling these ridiculous lies about the Constitution. Even if there was some textual provision which restricted the Kremlin’s action, and there isn’t, it would be child’s play to change that provision if Putin wanted to do it. If he wanted to, he could have the whole Constitution abolished or altered to give him power for life, and it could be done in minutes. The Russian people are just that heedless of freedom and their own future. The Kremlin’s argument about Lugovoi offends the intelligence of every thinking person just as the USSR used to routinely do. If Russia keeps it up, it will meet exactly the same fate.

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