THE COURTS will re-open the trial of Baki Sadiki, a Kosovar Albanian living in Slovakia, as the Prešov Regional Court cancelled the original verdict sentencing him to 22 years in prison for drug trafficking in a September 3 closed session.
“The Regional Court in Prešov overturned the decision of the Prešov District Court concerning the renewed trial of Baki Sadiki, as the district court used an incorrect procedural provision,” court spokesperson Michal Drimák told the TASR newswire. “At the same time, it took the accused Baki Sadiki into custody due to the justified fear that he could flee and hide.”
Drimák added that the district court in Prešov will continue the proceeding based on the original indictment.
Sadiki was one of three men accused in a particularly serious case of illegal production, possession and trading in narcotics and smuggling heroin from Turkey to Slovakia hidden in imported beach sandals, the Sme daily wrote. He was sentenced in absentia to a 22-year imprisonment by the Prešov District Court in June 2011.
Sadiki was missing until October 2012, when he was detained in Kosovo and extradited to Slovakia in December, where he began serving his sentence.
After being transported to Slovakia, Sadiki claimed that he was unaware of his conviction and requested that it be re-examined. It was this request that the court granted by cancelling the original verdicts.
Sadiki told the court on May 30 that since January 2010 he had been living in Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo and did not know about the prosecution against him, nor about his sentencing, and insisted he learned of this only after he was detained in Kosovo.
On the same day, the district court in Prešov cancelled the original verdict.
Prosecutors argued that he had to know about the prosecution and trial, citing the testimony of a witness. The defendant has the right to ask for a retrial, as he was sentenced in absentia.
Nobody in Slovakia doubts that Sadiki was avoiding criminal prosecution and hiding abroad, head of the movement Nová Väčšina-Dohoda Daniel Lipšic, a former interior minister, told the press.
“It is hard to believe that he went to Kosovo to explore [its] natural beauties or local cuisine,” Lipšic said, as quoted by TASR. He went to say that Sadiki’s argument that he had not been in Slovakia for several years and had not known about the prosecution and the verdict, and was participating in spiritual exercises around the world, is absurd. “Nobody in Slovakia, except for the Prešov Regional Court, believes this,” Lipšic said.
6. Sep 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff