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Court opens Sadiki retrial

THE PREŠOV District Court on October 1 opened the retrial of Baki Sadiki, a convicted drug lord sentenced in absentia to 22 years in prison, after the higher-instance court cancelled the original verdict that found Sadiki, a Kosovar Albanian, guilty of drug trafficking. Yet, the Justice Ministry disagrees with the decision and plans to submit a special appeal.

THE PREŠOV District Court on October 1 opened the retrial of Baki Sadiki, a convicted drug lord sentenced in absentia to 22 years in prison, after the higher-instance court cancelled the original verdict that found Sadiki, a Kosovar Albanian, guilty of drug trafficking. Yet, the Justice Ministry disagrees with the decision and plans to submit a special appeal.

The retrial will be public, with Sadiki present in the courtroom, spokesperson for the Prešov Regional Court Michal Drimák told the SITA newswire. The proceeding will be based on the original indictment.

On September 3, the Prešov Regional Court cancelled the original verdict for Sadiki, convicted of smuggling heroin from Turkey to Slovakia hidden in imported beach sandals, thus effectively reopening his trial. After several years at large, Sadiki was arrested on October 25, 2012 as part of an Interpol operation called Infrared. In December, a Kosovo court in Gjilan cleared Sadiki for extradition to Slovakia.

The regional court suggested that a new trial was one of the conditions set by Kosovo for the extradition of Sadiki, which was later confirmed by an advisor to Kosovo’s justice minister, Dafina Bucaj, to the Sme daily. She said that Kosovo does not acknowledge verdicts issued in absentia and thus it would request a new trial in any similar extradition case. Bucaj said the “request from Slovakia included the guarantee that he [Sadiki] will have the right to a new trial”, Sme reported in its September 18 issue.

Yet, the Slovak Justice Ministry denies agreeing to any such terms. Sme reported on September 11 that the right to a retrial influenced Kosovo’s decision to extradite Sadiki to Slovakia, but noted that this condition was not listed in the official extradition paperwork between the two countries. The Justice Ministry provided the document to Sme based on the Freedom of Information Act.

“Regarding the decision on a retrial the Justice Ministry is planning legal steps,” Pavol Kubík, from the ministry’s press department, told SITA. One possibility is for the ministry to submit a special appeal against the regional court verdict.

Source: SITA

For more information about this story please see: Sadiki retrial saga goes on

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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