A Judge of the Košice Regional Court has agreed with the proposal to take Italian businessman Antonino Vadala into pre-trial detention. The ruling was issued at a closed session on March 15, the TASR newswire reported.
Vadala is being prosecuted in Italy for drug-related crimes and the court in Venice has issued a European arrest warrant for him.
The Italian businessman, who is featured in the last story of murdered investigative journalist Ján Kuciak in connection with the Italian Mafia, was detained early on March 13. Later that day, the prosecutor submitted a pre-trial detention proposal, TASR wrote.
The ruling is still not valid as Vadala can appeal within three days. If he does so, the appeal will be discussed by the Supreme Court, said spokesperson for the Košice Regional Court, Anna Pančurová.
40-day wait for further documents
“I visited my client during the pre-trial detention hearing and I asked him whether he wanted to speak to the media about the matter,” said Vadala’s lawyer Jaroslav Hamza, as quoted by TASR. “He said he did not want to. He did not authorise me to speak in his name either.”
The main purpose of the pre-trial detention is to guarantee that the detained person will remain in Slovakia and not hinder the European arrest warrant proceedings. Meanwhile the regional prosecutor’s office asked the Italians for additional information.
The prosecutor’s office now has 40 days to deliver the original arrest warrant with respective documents which will be provided by the Italian prosecutor’s office to the court, said Milan Filičko, spokesperson for the regional prosecutor’s office in Košice, as reported by TASR.
After receiving the documents, the court will decide whether to place Vadala in extradition custody.
Vadala was previously detained by the Slovak police shortly after the murder of Kuciak and Kušnírová. He was, however, released after only one day.
15. Mar 2018 at 21:59 | Compiled by Spectator staff