Drug baron Baki Sadiki was convicted in a retrial and sentenced to 22 years in prison. The Prešov District Court ruled him guilty of the particularly grave crime of unauthorised production and trading of drugs, the Sme daily reported on its website on December 16.

Sadiki’ lawyers appealed the ruling but Sadiki has remained in prison for now.

Sadiki was convicted for the same crime and with the same prison sentence before, in June 2011, when he was a fugitive. After he was detained in Kosovo, a retrial started on November 7.

On September 3, the Prešov Regional Court cancelled the original verdict for Sadiki, convicted of smuggling heroin from Turkey to Slovakia hidden in imported beach sandals, which effectively reopened his trial. After several years at large, Sadiki was arrested on October 25, 2012 as part of an Interpol operation called Infrared. In December, a Kosovo court in Gjilan cleared Sadiki for extradition to Slovakia.

The regional court suggested that a new trial was one of the conditions set by Kosovo for the extradition of Sadiki, which was later confirmed by an advisor to Kosovo’s justice minister, Dafina Bucaj, to Sme. She said that Kosovo does not acknowledge verdicts issued in absentia and thus it would request a new trial in any similar extradition case. Bucaj said the “request from Slovakia included the guarantee that he [Sadiki] will have the right to a new trial”, Sme reported in its September 18 issue.

But Slovakia‘s Justice Ministry denied agreeing to any such terms. Sme reported on September 11 that the right to a retrial influenced Kosovo’s decision to extradite Sadiki to Slovakia but added that this condition was not listed in the official extradition paperwork between the two countries. The Justice Ministry provided the document to Sme based on the Freedom of Information Act.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.