Labsi loses appeal at Slovak Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 30, dismissed the appeal of Algerian national Mustafa Labsi against the decision last year by a lower appellate court to refuse to grant him asylum in Slovakia. It affirmed the Bratislava Regional Court's view that Labsi, who has been sentenced to death on terrorism charges in his home country, poses a threat to Slovakia's security, the TASR newswire wrote.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 30, dismissed the appeal of Algerian national Mustafa Labsi against the decision last year by a lower appellate court to refuse to grant him asylum in Slovakia. It affirmed the Bratislava Regional Court's view that Labsi, who has been sentenced to death on terrorism charges in his home country, poses a threat to Slovakia's security, the TASR newswire wrote.

Labsi, who has been deported from other countries, including France, Germany, Canada and Austria, was arrested in May 2007 after having arrived in Slovakia to reunite with his Slovak wife and child. Labsi, who has been in various forms of custody throughout his legal wrangles in Slovakia, has insisted all along that he poses no danger to the country, having caused no problems while staying in refugee camps such as the one in Medveďov (Trnava Region) with other asylum seekers.

"Slovakia has admitted three US Guantanamo prisoners who are allegedly to be granted asylum - do they not pose a danger?" he pointed out in his testimony on Tuesday.

Earlier this month Labsi, who was convicted of being affiliated with al-Qaida, was handed over to Slovakia by Austria, where he fled last December from the Rohovce refugee camp near Šamorín (Trnava Region). At Bratislava Regional Court Labsi unsuccessfully claimed that his rights had been violated and lost his appeal against the Migration Office's refusal to grant him asylum three times. Most recently, in late October, the regional judge said that there had been no evidence presented of persecution or grounds to justify the granting of asylum.

Labsi's lawyer, Martin Škamla, would not comment on the apparently final Supreme Court judgement, except to say that he and Labsi would seek permission for an extendable 180-day 'tolerated stay' in Slovakia on the grounds that he could face torture or bad treatment in Algeria. A decision on this is due shortly.

Škamla said he does not expect Slovakia to actually extradite Labsi to Algeria, citing a Constitutional Court statement from late June 2008 that the Supreme Court had violated his fundamental rights when allowing extradition to Algeria for prosecution and returned the ruling to the Supreme Court for reconsideration. At that time Labsi pleaded that his basic human rights had been violated. The Supreme Court then set the Algerian free in early August, indicating that it would not hand him over to Algeria for prosecution. But he was immediately detained by the foreign police on the grounds that he lacked a visa and other residence papers, and was taken to the refugee camp. Labsi is currently banned from Slovakia until 2016, but his deportation is suspended pending a decision on his latest asylum request.

Source: TASR

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

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