Foreign Office 'lured Mongolian official to UK'

Mongolian prime minister Sukhbaataryn Batbold Mr Batbold cancelled a trip to the UK in November - the reason is disputed

A Mongolian security services official is due in court in the UK to fight extradition to Germany amid claims he was lured to Britain to be arrested.

Bat Khurts' lawyer says the UK government told him he was coming for talks but acted "duplicitously" at the behest of the German government.

Mr Khurts, 41, was allegedly involved in the kidnap and false imprisonment of a Mongolian national in 2003.

The UK Foreign Office said the arrest was in no way a political statement.

Mr Khurts, the head of the executive office of Mongolia's National Security Council, was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport in September and is being held at Wandsworth prison in south west London.

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The arrest in no way amounts to a diplomatic or political statement by the British government”

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He will appear before City of Westminster magistrates on Wednesday.

His solicitor, Duncan MacDonald of law firm JD Spicer, said his client had no idea a European Arrest Warrant existed.

He said Mr Khurts had thought he had been invited to the UK for official government talks on intelligence co-operation relating to Muslim fundamentalism.

The UK's national security advisor Sir Peter Ricketts and his strategy and counter-terrorism director William Nye were among those he thought he was meeting.

There had been "prolonged correspondence" prior to the trip, Mr MacDonald added.

"It seems the Foreign Office was duplicitously luring Mr Khurts to his arrest and imprisonment at the behest of the German government," he said.

"This is no way to treat any individual, let alone a senior official of an allied nation."

'Kidnapped and drugged'

The warrant for Mr Khurts' arrest relates to the kidnap, false imprisonment and repatriation of Mongolian national Enkhbat Damiran, who has since died.

Mr Enkhbat was wanted in connection with the murder of Mongolian minister Zorig Sanjasuuren.

It is alleged that Mr Khurts helped kidnap Mr Enkhbat in France before driving him to Berlin in Germany, drugging him and flying him back to Mongolia.

Mr MacDonald says Mongolian prime minister Sukhbaataryn Batbold cancelled a trip to the UK in November as a result of Mr Khurts' arrest - and has no plans to reinstate it.

But the UK Foreign Office said it was postponed because of parliamentary business in Mongolia, and officials were looking to reschedule it.

A spokesman said: "Mr Bat Khurts was arrested under the European Arrest Warrant issued by the German judicial authorities.

"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.

"His extradition is now before the courts and it would be inappropriate for us to pass further comment at this stage."

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