Exiled Chechen independence leader Akhmed Zakayev, who was invited to a meeting for Chechens in exile, was freed from custody in Poland late Friday several hours after he was arrested at Russia's request.
Zakayev, 51, said that he planned to attend the final day Saturday of the World Chechen Congress near Warsaw, the event that had drawn him to Poland in the first place.
Polish prosecutors asked the Warsaw District Court to extend London-based Zakayev's arrest for 40 days but their petition was rejected, RIA Novosti reported.
In a written ruling, the hearing judge Piotr Schab said he had taken into consideration the fact that in 2003 Zakayev was granted political asylum in Britain, where he is now based.
One of the most populous regions in the mainly Muslim north Caucasus, Chechnya declared independency after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 but was attacked by Russian forces in two wars since the mid-1990s.
Zakayev was the European representative of Chechen pro-independence president Aslan Maskhadov, who died fighting Russian forces in 2005.
Zakayev has been on the international wanted list since 2001 but he was granted political asylum by Britain in 2003.
Related News Reports:Last Mod: 19 Eylül 2010, 10:14