Georgia may soon take a decision on granting refugee status to Adam Osmayev, one of the suspects in an alleged plot to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin, Osmayev’s lawyer Valery Kochetov said on Monday.
Ukraine suspended Osmayev's extradition to Russia pending his appeal in the European Court of Human Rights. The Russian-born suspect, who has renounced his citizenship, has applied for refugee status in Georgia and Finland.
“Georgia is currently resolving this issue. A decision will probably be taken today or tomorrow,” Kochetov said.
Kochetov said that if either Georgia or Finland grants the request, Ukraine would not be able to extradite Osmayev and would instead have to let him leave the country.
On August 14, a Ukrainian appeals court ordered Osmayev's extradition to Russia. The court rejected an appeal lodged by Osmayev’s defense team and upheld the extradition request from the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office. Osmayev’s defense then appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.
Osmayev and a second suspect, Ilya Pyanzin, were detained in the port city of Odessa after a fellow suspect was killed in an apartment explosion there in January. They confessed shortly afterwards to planning to murder Putin at the orders of Chechen warlord Doku Umarov. The men were then charged with forming a terrorist group and plotting a terrorist attack.
Pyanzin was extradited to Russia on Saturday, August 25.
The news of the attempted plot was released at the height of Putin's campaign to be reelected as president of Russia in the March 4 election.