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Aktuálně.cz: Prague to extradite Georgian after 21 years

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Prague, Jan 18 (CTK) – Prague will extradite Zurab Nadiradze, former senior official of the Georgian Defence Ministry, who was convicted of murder in Georgia and was seeking asylum in the Czech Republic for 21 years, Justice Ministry Robert Pelikan (ANO) decided last week, the server reported on Wednesday.

“The justice minister decided on the extradition of my client on January 12,” said Nadiradze’s defence lawyer Jan Schejbal.

In cooperation with the Organisation in Aid of Refugees, Schejbal is preparing a complaint with the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg. This is the only instance to suspend the extradition if it issued a preliminary ruling, the server writes.

Czech courts, including the Constitutional Court (US), have repeatedly stood up for Nadiradze who points to the political background of his case.

However, the US rejected his latest complaint against the Interior Ministry and lower-level courts’ decision not to grant international protection to him as unsubstantiated last August. The US argued with the development of democracy in Georgia and the guarantee that his trial would be reopened.

Then it was up to Pelikan to decide on Nadiradze’s case.

Pelikan and his press department refused to comment on his decision, the server writes.

The victim of the murder in 1994, of which Nadiradze was convicted, was a nephew of an inspector of the Tbilisi municipal prosecutor’s office.

Nadiradze pleads not guilty. He says he left the scene of crime half an hour before the murder was committed.

Nadiradze legally moved to Hungary for fear that the situation in Georgia was not safe for him and he started running business there. Two years later, in January 1996, he was arrested at the Lanzhot border crossing, south Moravia, on the basis of the Georgian police’s request.

He was not convicted then. His trial in absentia, which he calls a political plot, started in 2008 only. The court sent him to prison for 18 years. Later, the sentence was commuted to 15 years.

The Georgian authorities have not reacted to the joint efforts of his defence lawyers, friends and relatives to achieve a review and reopening of the trial, the server writes.

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