THE KOSOVAR court in Gnjilane has ruled that the country can extradite Baki Sadiki, an Albanian convicted in absentia of serious drugs offences, to Slovakia. Sadiki may appeal the verdict, the Tvnoviny.sk website reported on December 3.
Slovakia’s Foreign Ministry welcomed the verdict, saying it is another important step in extraditing Sadiki to Slovakia. The ministry stressed Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák’s personal involvement in the extradition request, according to an official press release.
The ministry added that it hopes the Kosovar government will accept the verdict of the court and extradite Sadiki soon.
Sadiki, one of three men accused in a particularly serious case of illegal production, possession and trading in narcotics and, more specifically, smuggling heroin from Turkey to Slovakia hidden in imported beach sandals, was sentenced in absentia to 22 years’ imprisonment by the Prešov District Court on June 13, 2011.
After several years at large, he was arrested as part of an international Interpol police operation called Infrared on October 25.
He was put into extradition custody and is now waiting to be sent back to Slovakia. Shortly after Sadiki’s detention Lajčák said that nothing stood in the way of his extradition back to Slovakia. Yet, some in the media have warned that the fact that Slovakia has yet to officially recognise Kosovo as an independent state could complicate the extradition.