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Government plane may be used to bring Mello back to Slovakia

Slovakia’s police have confirmed that on Wednesday, July 11, their counterparts in Belize arrested Karol Mello, a Slovak fugitive wanted in connection with an attempted gangland hit that resulted in the murder of a woman and young boy in Most pri Bratislave, a village near the Slovak capital, back in 2004. Together with the Interior Ministry, they have launched negotiations with their Belizean counterparts in order to secure Mello's extradition to Slovakia, the Sme daily reported.

Slovakia’s police have confirmed that on Wednesday, July 11, their counterparts in Belize arrested Karol Mello, a Slovak fugitive wanted in connection with an attempted gangland hit that resulted in the murder of a woman and young boy in Most pri Bratislave, a village near the Slovak capital, back in 2004. Together with the Interior Ministry, they have launched negotiations with their Belizean counterparts in order to secure Mello's extradition to Slovakia, the Sme daily reported.

The arrest was first reported by The San Pedro Sun website, which reported that Mello had been apprehended on the Caribbean island of San Pedro, where he was hiding together with his wife and their son, after a tip-off from Belize Police and Interpol. It reported that Mello had been transported to the country’s capital, Belmopan, on Thursday, July 12, and “handed over to Interpol authorities”.

“We will consider the action finished only when this person is given to Slovakia,” said the president of Slovakia's Police Corps, Tibor Gašpar, as quoted by Sme.

One possibility for getting Mello back to Slovakia is by use of a special government aeroplane, since there is no direct air connection between Belize and Slovakia and Mello, who has gone on the run twice in the last eight years, poses an obvious flight risk, Sme wrote.

As well as the murder in Most pri Bratislave, Mello also faces charges over his alleged involvement in two murders in 2003 and 2004, in one of which Bratislava mob boss Peter Čongrády was the victim.

After the 2004 murders Mello spent several years evading arrest but was apprehended in Poland in 2010 and extradited to Slovakia. However, he was then released from custody by the Slovak courts in 2011 and immediately went on the run again.

Mello had earlier been suspected of living in Kosovo, but the Czech daily Mladá Fronta Dnes recently published a photograph of him apparently dining in a popular Prague restaurant. The media later reported that he might have travelled to Belize.

Source: The San Pedro Sun website, Sme

For more information about this story please see: Karol Mello reportedly arrested in Belize

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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