MOSCOW, February 21 - RAPSI. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has not found any transgression in the actions of Russian diplomats who handed over two Russian nationals charged with supporting Muammar Gaddafi's forces during the hostilities to Libyan rebels in the fall of 2011, newspaper Izvestia writes.
The diplomats claimed they could not get the men out of Libya because the roads were blocked. However, this did not prevent them later from leaving the country.
An investigation into their actions was ordered by Prosecutor General Yury Chaika at the request of several members of parliament, who asked why Russian nationals Vladimir Dolgov and Alexander Shadrov, who were working for an oil company, were turned over to the Al Qa'qaa rebel brigade in violation of the Russian Constitution and Criminal Code.
Russian law prohibits the extradition of Russian nationals to a foreign state even if said nationals committed a crime. In this case, the trial must take place in their home country.
Izvestia previously wrote that the Russian Foreign Ministry publicly admitted that the aforementioned Russians were in the Russian Embassy in Libya, and hence were on Russian territory. Nevertheless, the men were later lead out of the embassy and turned over to Libyan rebels "for interrogation."
Dolgov and Shadrov were arrested and remain in prison to this day.
However, the Prosecutor General's Office has not found grounds for taking any measures in response to the diplomats' actions.
Two Russians, 19 Ukrainians and three Belarusians were arrested in Libya in the fall of 2011 and charged with supporting Muammar Gaddafi's forces during the hostilities.
In June 2012, the Libyan authorities sentenced Alexander Shadrov, who was accused of coordinating the group, to life imprisonment. The other defendants in the case were sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian foreign ministries stated at the time that they would seek their citizens' release.
In February 2011, mass rallies broke out in Libya demanding Gaddafi's resignation. They escalated into an armed tug-of-war between the ruling regime and the NATO-backed opposition forces.
The opposition formed the Transitional National Council in Benghazi, which it acknowledged as the only legitimate authority in the country. Gaddafi was killed by opposition troops near Sirte on October 20, 2011.