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Suspected terrorist remains in custody

A SUSPECTED terrorist, Algerian citizen Mustapha Labsi, was not released from police custody on June 11, the SITA news wire wrote. He was detained in Slovakia in May based on an Algerian arrest warrant. Slovak media had reported that he could be released from police custody in Bratislava on June 11 because Algerian authorities did not ask for his extradition before the prescribed deadline. However, police spokesman Martin Korch said that the term of pre-trial custody, during which his extradition could be requested, only started on the day when the Algerian side was informed of his detention. He said that Slovakia only officially informed Algeria about the detention at the beginning of this month.

The Nový Čas tabloid was the first newspaper in Slovakia to report that a man trained by al-Qaeda had been staying in Slovakia. Labsi, 36, underwent terrorist training in Afghanistan and has contacts with the al-Qaeda. He allegedly came to Slovakia in April 2006, was detained here and transported to the refugee camp in Medveďov before being sent back to Austria. In April of this year, Austria deported him back to Slovakia, based on international conventions. He has already completed a prison sentence in Britain, where he was behind bars for violating the law on terrorism, and also in France, where he was sentenced for an attempted terrorist attack. After being released, he returned to Slovakia to see his wife and son, who both have Slovak citizenship.

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