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Mongolian spy was 'victim of plot to lure him to UK'

A Mongolian spy chief was the target of a "secret plan" by the Foreign Office to lure him to Britain by encouraging a diplomatic visit which officials knew would result in his arrest, the High Court heard yesterday.

Bat Khurts, who was arrested at Heathrow last September as he arrived expecting to meet senior British counter-terrorism officials, is appealing against a ruling that he should be extradited to Germany to face charges that he helped to kidnap a Mongolian national in 2003.

Lawyers for Mr Khurts, 41, claim that his visit to London last year was a recognised "special mission", which should have given him diplomatic immunity from the European arrest warrant against him.

His legal team said emails recently disclosed by the Foreign Office showed officials had encouraged the Mongolians to arrange the visit and accepted that Mr Khurts was "travelling officially".

Alun Jones, QC, representing Mr Khurts, said the British authorities had "deceived" the Mongolians and hatched a "secret plan to arrest [Mr Khurts] to which the British ambassador and the Foreign Office were party".

The Foreign Office has insisted that Mr Khurts was not on a formal diplomatic mission and had not been offered appointments with any Whitehall officials. Diplomats say they were obliged under the terms of the European arrest warrant system not to warn any potential target of their likely arrest.

The case continues.