Mongolian spy chief loses extradition case

Mongolian spy chief Bat Khurts, who claims he was lured to the UK so he could be arrested and jailed under a European Arrest Warrant, can be extradited to Germany, a judge ruled today.

Khurts, 41, is fighting extradition over claims he was involved in the kidnap, false imprisonment and return of a Mongolian national suspected of murdering a government official.

His lawyers said he would appeal against today's ruling by District Judge Quentin Purdy at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Khurts' legal representatives claimed during the case that Khurts, head of the executive office of Mongolia's National Security Council, should not have been detained as he was covered by diplomatic immunity.

His lawyer, Alun Jones QC, told the court that Khurts was on official government business which protected him from arrest.

The legal team claimed he was duped into coming to the UK so he could be arrested and jailed under a European Arrest Warrant and extradited to Germany at the behest of the German government.

However the judge said Khurts did not have immunity either as a member of a special mission or as a high official per customary international law, and that extradition should proceed.

Mr Jones had told the hearing that Khurts was told he was coming to the UK for high-level Government talks on a new era of intelligence co-operation relating to Muslim fundamentalism.

But instead, as soon as his Aeroflot flight touched down at Heathrow Airport last September, he was handcuffed and arrested.

Mr Jones said Khurts was a senior civil servant representing his government and was therefore covered under the Special Missions Convention which granted him immunity from detention and arrest.

It is alleged he was involved in the kidnap of Enkhbat Damiran from France, driving him to Berlin, drugging him and flying him back to Mongolia.

Mr Jones accused the UK authorities of deliberately tricking Khurts to facilitate his visit to the UK so he could be arrested.

He was granted a business visa for his visit in which he was to have talks with the UK's National Security Adviser, Sir Peter Ricketts, and his strategy and counter-terrorism director, William Nye, Mr Jones said.

Khurts claims the Government enticed him to the UK, knowing that there was a European Arrest Warrant against him which dated back to 2003 and of which he was unaware.

The warrant related to the kidnap, false imprisonment and repatriation of Mongolian national Mr Damiran, who was wanted for questioning in connection with the murder of the Mongolian Infrastructure Minister Zorig Sanjasuuren.

The judge said the Mongolians had genuinely wanted Khurts to visit London for mutual security issue discussions, and the British Ambassador, it would seem, shared that view.

But once an official at the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) became aware of the visa application and tied this in with the outstanding warrant, matters changed.

The judge said: "I have no doubt the issue of a business visa was deliberately to avoid/deny any claim of diplomatic immunity.

"Similarly I have no doubt the 'persistent' calls from the British Embassy over Bat Khurts' travel itinerary was to ensure Soca would be free to ensure an arrest in the UK with minimum fuss."

However he could not find any basis for finding improper conduct by any British officials amounting to "manipulating" the court's process in the exercise of enforcing cross-border criminal justice, for "really serious crime by whomsoever committed".

The judge said Khurts was travelling on a Mongolian diplomatic passport, with a business visa, as opposed to an exempt (diplomat) visa.

The judge said: "To my mind it is clear the Mongolian authorities thought Bat Khurts was travelling with full immunity... Equally clearly, the UK authorities, once aware of the European Arrest Warrant, most certainly did not regard the trip as attracting any immunity from arrest."

He said Khurts' trip was not a special mission, and, though a very senior official, he was not a government minister, which in each successful immunity case had been a fact.

"Nor is he engaged specifically or at all in foreign affairs but matters of security or special forces interests (as he put it in evidence).

"Accordingly, I find I must reject the claim of immunity as a high official on the facts before me."

Remanding Khurts in custody, the judge said any appeal must be made within seven days. He would be removed under the warrant within 17 days from today.

Lawyers for Khurts said the Mongolian Ambassador had been in court and also Khurts' wife, Sanaa.

Solicitor Duncan Macdonald said: "We are appealing this matter."

Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam