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The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has officially issued Georgia
The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has officially issued Georgia with an extradition request for Jr. Sgt. Alexander Glukhov, a Russian soldier facing desertion charges, a prosecutor spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

"According to our information, Glukhov is in Georgia. The Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation has therefore made a decision to send an extradition request to the Prosecutor General's office in Georgia in order to bring him to justice," Marina Gridnyova said.

Glukhov left his unit in South Ossetia in late January and approached Georgian police, requesting asylum. He said his actions should not be seen as politically motivated, as he would have done the same had his army unit been deployed near any other foreign border.

Chief military prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky said earlier that Russia would send Georgia an extradition request for Glukhov in the near future. "We will ask for him to be returned to us," Fridinsky said.

Georgia said earlier that Glukhov had requested political asylum. Georgian Deputy Interior Minister Shota Utiashvili also said Tbilisi would not hand him over to Russia until consideration of his asylum request had been completed.

The Russian Defense Ministry initially said Glukhov had been seized by Georgian special services and forcibly taken to Tbilisi, where he was subjected to moral or physical pressure. However, Glukhov denied the claims saying he fled because of the intolerable conditions in his unit.

Under Russian law, desertion is punishable by up to seven years in prison, but a first-time offender who has deserted without his weapon, on his own, may in some cases be exempt from punishment.


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