A Polish court was wrong to release Chechen separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev instead of arresting him, Polish Prosecutor General Andrzej Seremet said on Polish radio on Friday.
Zakayev, who was in Warsaw to attend a Chechen congress, walked out of a Warsaw district court on the evening of September 18 several hours after he was arrested at Russia's request.
"The court took a wrong decision, not bearing in mind the Russian extradition request for Akhmed Zakayev," Seremet said on TOK FM.
"I agree on this issue with a district prosecutor's office, which has appealed the court decision," he added.
Seremet said the district court misinterpreted some aspects of Zakayev's legal status. The court rejected the prosecutor's office request to detain Zakayev, ruling that his refugee status was valid in Poland, and released him without any restrictions and preventive measures.
"There are no such norms, such a regulation in the EU is not known," the prosecutor said.
Polish prosecutors asked the Warsaw District Court to extend Zakayev's arrest for 40 days but their petition was rejected because Zakayev has been granted political refugee status in Britain, which is valid on the entire territory of the EU.
The Warsaw's Prosecutor's Office was expected on Friday to challenge the district court's decision to free Zakayev, who left Poland for London on Monday when his Polish visa expired.
He said he was ready to return to Poland at the request of Polish prosecutors as soon as he received a new visa.
Zakayev, who took part in the first Chechen war and allegedly led attacks on federal forces, was placed on an international wanted list by Russia in 2001 but was granted political asylum by Britain in 2003. Russia has repeatedly asked Britain to extradite him, but the request has invariably been denied.
WARSAW, September 24 (RIA Novosti)