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Slovak police officer to Belize to discuss Mello extradition

A Slovak police officer has left for the central American country of Belize to discuss the extradition of Slovakia’s most-wanted criminal, Karol Mello, who was apprehended there on July 11. Mello is accused of organising at least three murders. It is still not clear when, how or even if Mello will be sent back to Slovakia, as both the Slovak and Belizean authorities have to date refused to comment on their discussions, the Sme daily reported.

A Slovak police officer has left for the central American country of Belize to discuss the extradition of Slovakia’s most-wanted criminal, Karol Mello, who was apprehended there on July 11. Mello is accused of organising at least three murders. It is still not clear when, how or even if Mello will be sent back to Slovakia, as both the Slovak and Belizean authorities have to date refused to comment on their discussions, the Sme daily reported.

Meanwhile, local news website 7newsbelize.com reported that an aircraft may have been sent to Guatemala by Slovakia in order to take Mello back. However, it did not provide any sources for its report.

“Reports suggest,” the website wrote, “that the Slovak government has a jet on standby in Guatemala to shuttle him [Mello] away the minute he is expelled from Belize.”

Mello’s lawyer, Peter Schmidl, confirmed that he had been updated on the latest information concerning his client but added that he was not in touch with Mello for now. He also said that it remains unclear when or even if Mello will be extradited to Slovakia, TASR wrote.

7newsbelize.com reported that the local authorities in Belize are keeping mum on the issue “because the government is trying to have an expulsion order issued as quietly as possible – and be finished with the situation”.

Meanwhile, Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said there are two or three options remaining to bring Mello back to Slovakia, adding that the Slovak authorities are continuing to hold talks on the issue with their counterparts in Belize.

“We are trying to make use of options that are simpler and, above all, quicker,” said Kaliňák, as quoted by TASR. He refused to comment further.

Mello, aged 42, was arrested during an operation codenamed Infrared that was organised by Interpol and Slovak police on July 11. He had reportedly been in Belize for several months.

Mello spent several years evading arrest after he was accused of being behind a 2004 double murder, 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.

Sources: Sme, 7newsbelize.com, TASR

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

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