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Court to rule on extradition of terrorist suspect on January 22

The Supreme Court is scheduled to decide on the extradition of alleged terrorist Mustapha Labsi to his native Algeria on January 22, Peter Preti from the Supreme Court President's office told the SITA newswire.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to decide on the extradition of alleged terrorist Mustapha Labsi to his native Algeria on January 22, Peter Preti from the Supreme Court President's office told the SITA newswire.

Labsi is alleged to have cooperated with the al-Qaida international terrorist network. The court will make its decision at a closed hearing.

The Bratislava Regional Court decided to proceed with the extradition on November 30, and Labsi's attorney appealed the verdict.

Algeria asked Slovakia to extradite Labsi, who faces a life sentence in Algeria. He was also sentenced to five years in jail in France, in March 2006, for planning terrorist attacks in France and counterfeiting official identification documents.

Labsi's attorney argued that his client was deported to Slovakia from Austria without legal grounds and has been held in custody in Slovakia since. Even though the international warrant for his arrest was issued in 2001, he travelled across the EU, and he was repeatedly detained and sentenced, but the Algerian international warrant was never respected in Europe.

Labsi says he is afraid of being tortured or killed in Algeria. The judge, however, says that the Algerian side has guaranteed that Labsi will not be sentenced to death or tortured in prison. He will also be given a new trial with the right to appeal to the Algerian Supreme Court, and will be able to choose his legal representative in Algeria, the judge said.

Labsi has a Slovak wife and a child in Slovakia.

-SITA

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