Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hostage taker turns himself in

(Roman Bogdanyants' photo by Al Dia Newspaper)Judicial court revoked release of man who penetrated Russian embassy

By Uri Ridelman

A legal immigrant from Kyrgyztan who took an acquaintance hostage at the Russian Embassy in San Jose turned himself in yesterday after a judicial court revoked the decision of a judge to set him free while the case is investigated.

Roman Bogdanyants (pictured) turned himself in at 4:30 p.m. after meeting with his lawyer Irina Verjov Verjova. Once under custody the 20-year-old suspect was ordered to serve a three month preventive sentence and then taken to an undisclosed jail.

A friend of Bogdanyants said that the family had already appealed the decision and that the suspect's mother was badly shaken after hearing about the decision of the judicial court.

Judge Maria Elena Chavez, who released Bogdanyants on May 12 after considering that he didn't have enough money to leave the country and evade justice, did not release a statement on the decision of the judicial court.

At the time of his release Chavez had told Bogdanyants he had to stay away from the hostage and his family and he could not leave Costa Rica.

The same day of the release Costa Rica's Attorney General Francisco Dall'Anesse said that his office was already filing a motion to revoke the freedom of Bogdanyants (who had already expressed his desire to move to Russia). He criticized the judge's argument that the gunman did not have enough money to leave, saying "the country's borders are very open."

On May 11 Roman Bogdanyants, armed with a gun, took an acquaintance hostage for four hours at the Russian Embassy in San Josr following an argument over money, in a stand-off that gripped Costa Ricans before ending without violence.

No embassy personnel were taken hostage during the incident.

Article written using information from several Costa Rican newspapers and newswires.

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