UK

Mongolian official's arrest 'not planned by UK'

The UK government did not lure a Mongolian security services official to the country to be arrested and extradited, a court has been told.

A lawyer for German authorities seeking Bat Khurts' extradition said there was no evidence of such a plan.

Mr Khurts thought he was arriving for government talks, his lawyers say, when he was arrested over an alleged role in kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Judgement on extradition was reserved to 18 February.

Mr Khurts, the 41-year-old head of the executive office of Mongolia's National Security Council, was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport in September.

He was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant dating back to 2003 that, according to his lawyers, he had no idea existed.

They say he was told he would be attending high-level government talks on intelligence co-operation.

They have accused the Foreign Office of "duplicitously luring Mr Khurts to his arrest and imprisonment at the behest of the German government".

Bail refused

Lawyer Aaron Watkins, for the German authorities, said: "There is no evidence of the judicial authority cooking up a plan with the government.

"This warrant was issued some time ago and has been live, pending execution in every single jurisdiction where it sits for many years.

"All of that is entirely inconsistent with some Machiavellian conspiracy to procure Bat Khurts' surrender and ultimate extradition," he told City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.

The Foreign Office has previously said the arrest "in no way amounts to a diplomatic or political statement by the British government".

"Judicial authorities, which are wholly independent of the government, are carrying out their independent legal function in accordance with the law," a spokesman said.

Mr Khurts is accused of involvement in the kidnapping in France in 2003 of Mongolian national Enkhbat Damiran, driving him to Berlin, drugging him and flying him back to Mongolia.

Mr Enkhbat, who has since died, was wanted in connection with the murder of Mongolian minister Zorig Sanjasuuren.

An application for bail for Mr Khurts was refused by the court on Wednesday.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites