THE PREŠOV Regional Court upheld the original 22-year prison sentence for alleged Kosovar drug lord Baki Sadiki, after turning down the appeal against the ruling of the first-instance court from December 16.
Sadiki was found guilty of unauthorised production and trading of drugs, the SITA newswire reported. The verdict is effective, and he is to serve his sentence in a maximum security prison. His attorney said they will use an extraordinary appeal, SITA wrote.
Convicted for the same crime and handed the same prison sentence in June 2011 when he was a fugitive, Sadiki was subsequently detained in Kosovo and extradited under confusing circumstances, which resulted in his being granted a retrial.
On September 3, 2013, the Prešov Regional Court overturned Sadiki’s original verdict, which found him guilty of smuggling heroin from Turkey to Slovakia, which effectively reopened his trial. After several years at large, Sadiki was arrested in October 2012 as part of an Interpol operation called “Infrared”. In December 2012, 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 Sadiki’s extradition, 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”.
Slovakia’s Justice Ministry denied agreeing to any such terms. The right to a retrial influenced Kosovo’s decision to extradite Sadiki to Slovakia, but this condition was not listed in the official extradition paperwork between the two countries, Slovak officials claimed. The Justice Ministry claimed the justification for the retrial had been fabricated. Although it originally planned to challenge the decision to grant Sadiki a retrial, that plan was withdrawn.
7. Apr 2014 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff