Suspect stays in Slovakia

THE SENATE of the Constitutional Court (ÚS) ruled at a closed-door session that Mustapha Labsi, an Algerian citizen facing extradition hearings, will remain in Slovakia while his complaint against the court is considered, Viera Horniaková from the Press and Information Department informed the SITA newswire.

Mustapha LabsiMustapha Labsi (Source: ČTK)

THE SENATE of the Constitutional Court (ÚS) ruled at a closed-door session that Mustapha Labsi, an Algerian citizen facing extradition hearings, will remain in Slovakia while his complaint against the court is considered, Viera Horniaková from the Press and Information Department informed the SITA newswire.

Labsi's complaint asserts that the Supreme Court's extradition order of January 22, 2008 violated his human rights by exposing him to torture.

He supported his case with numerous news clippings about Algeria from a variety of sources, including the UN Committee for Human rights, Amnesty International and US and UK human rights reports.

"This ruling is crucial to Mustapha Labsi's safety," Mária Kolíková, Labsi's lawyer for the proceedings, told the SITA newswire. "With it, the Constitutional Court confirmed that it is an effective tool for protecting human rights."

Labsi was allegedly part of the al-Qaida international terrorist network. Algeria asked Slovakia to extradite him to face a life sentence. And in March 2006, he was given a five-year prison sentence in France for allegedly planning terrorist attacks and counterfeiting.

Algeria issued an international warrant for Labsi's arrest in 2001. As he travelled across the EU, he was repeatedly detained and sentenced.

He was finally deported from Austria to Slovakia, where he has a wife and child. His attorney said the deportation was illegal.

Lower courts in Slovakia ordered Labsi extradited to Algeria after receiving assurances from the Algerian government that he would not be tortured or executed.

Algerian officials also promised Labsi would be given a new trial and the right to appeal to the Algerian Supreme Court, as well as the chance to choose his legal representation, the courts said.

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