Monday, May 14, 2007

Costa Rica official protests hostage taker release

In this undated photo released by his family, Roman Bogdanyants, the 20-year-old Kazakhstan man that turned himself over to police on Friday, ending a three-hour standoff and safely releasing a captive he held inside the Russian Embassy, is seen in San Jose, Costa Rica. Bogdanyants was taken to a San Jose courthouse, where he was being held as prosecutors were investigating what charges would be filed against him.(AP Photo) SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, May 14 (Reuters) - Costa Rica's top prosecutor on Monday appealed against a judge's decision to release an immigrant who last week held a man hostage for hours at the Russian Embassy in San Jose.

Roman Bogdanyants, armed with a gun, took an acquaintance hostage on Friday following an argument over money, in a stand-off that gripped Costa Ricans before ending without violence.

A judge freed Bogdanyants, originally from Kyrgyzstan, on Saturday on the condition that he doesn't leave Costa Rica while the case is investigated and that he stays aways from the hostage and his family.

Costa Rica's Attorney General Francisco Dall'Anesse said that Bogdanyants committed a crime and six months of preventive prison while the incident's investigations proceed are justified. Dall'Anesse also said that his office is already filing a motion to revoke Bogdanyants' freedom.

He criticized the judge's argument that the gunman did not have enough money to leave, saying that "the country's borders are very open."

Dall'Anesse said the release could send a message to armed political groups that they could operate easily in the Central American nation.

No embassy personnel were taken hostage during the incident. Russian Ambassador Valery Nikolayenko stayed in a separate floor of the building throughout the incident trying to persuade Bogdanyants to give up.

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