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Russian woman seeks political asylum in Albania after being arrested for espionage

A Russian woman who was arrested last August in Albania along with two men for espionage has applied for political asylum in Albania, Albanian Radio and Television reported.

The 33-year-old self-proclaimed blogger Svetlana Timofeeva was arrested along with two other citizens, from Russia and Ukraine, respectively, after an attempt to break into a former communist military plant in Gramsh, 80 km from the capital Tirana, Reuters notes.

According to Albanian Radio and Television, the three were arrested on charges of espionage after they were caught filming the military plant, BTA reported. They tried to break into him, clashed with two of his guards and sprayed them with nerve spray.

Materials related to important military sites in Albania were found among their personal belongings. As a result, they were remanded in custody on charges of “releasing classified information.”

Following Moscow’s request in February that the Russian citizen be extradited, Timofeeva’s lawyer Isuf Shehu submitted a request for political asylum, saying “there are reasons to believe that she (Svetlana Timofeeva) will be subjected to or persecuted, or of discrimination or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, or of acts which constitute violations of fundamental human rights’.

According to Timofeeva, the military plant was abandoned, there were no signs that it was a military facility, and people and animals moved freely in and out of it. Timofeeva claims that the only reason she visited the area was her desire to photograph abandoned buildings from the Cold War era.

This Friday, the court is expected to decide whether Timofeeva will be extradited from Albania or not, adds Reuters.

Source : 24chasa.bg