In a key development, the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic has ruled on the extradition of Nikhil Gupta, accused by the US federal prosecutors for attempting to kill the head of the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. The spokesperson of the Czech Justice Ministry Vladimir Repka confirmed the court’s decision.
Supreme Court Decision
“The Supreme Court of Czech Republic ruled that the extradition to the US is possible. Following this decision, the Ministry of Justice will take the responsibility of the case, he said. Repka also explained “After the Supreme Court decision has been delivered to all parties, the all-file material in the case will be submitted to the Ministry of Justice.”
Czech minister of Justice Pavel Blazek will now be tasked with the crucial decision of whether to allow Gupta’s extradition to the US after a later date. However, Repka emphasized the potential for the minister to express reservations about the court’s decision. The spokesperson noted that the timeline for Minister Blazek decision remains uncertain and he added that “It is now impossible to predict when the minister would make the decision.”
“If the Minister of Justice has doubts about the correctness of the court’s decision, then he can submit a proposal to the Supreme Court to review their decision within three months,” Repka added underlining a possible avenue for further legal scrutiny.
The minister’s judgement will remain pivotal considering the gravity of the accusations and the potential geopolitical implications associated with the case. The alleged plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has garnered considerable attention in the US and India.
Gupta found himself in custody under Czech authorities in June of the preceding year upon his arrival in Prague from India. His defence team is expected to employ all available means to contest extradition with Repka stating “The requested party can be expected to use all available means to prevent extradition.”
Charges on Gupta
Nikhil Gupta is a resident of New Delhi and is 52 years old. He has been accused by US for working in tandem with an undercover Indian government official on the plot to kill an American citizen who advocated for a sovereign Sikh Nation in Northern India. The target is assumed by many as Gurpatwant Singh Pannun who holds dual citizenship of Canada as well as the United States of America (USA). Gupta had argued that his identity was mistaken and he was not the person they (US) were looking for.