Wednesday 28 July 2021

Dutch court forbids terror suspect deportation to US on torture doubts

The appeal court in The Hague has called a halt to the deportation of terror suspect Sabir K to the US.

The court said there is still too much uncertainty over the involvement of America in K’s torture following his arrest in Pakistan.

‘The court is of the opinion the Dutch state has not done enough to make sure the US was not involved with the torture of Sabir K in Pakistan,’ the judgment said.

Conspiracy

K is wanted in the US in connection with a conspiracy to attack US military personnel in Afghanistan. The 26-year-old was arrested in Pakistan in 2010 and sent back to the Netherlands eight months later, where he was arrested on his arrival.

He claims to have been tortured while being held in Pakistan and says the US authorities knew about this.

The Hague court in May delayed the extradition by calling for more information about his original arrest.

The Netherlands and the US have signed an extradition treaty but the US and Pakistan have not. In addition, the US asked the Netherlands to extradite K well before he was deported home, news agency ANP said at the time.

Green light

After a lengthy legal battle, justice minister Ivo Opstelten said in February the extradition could go ahead if America guaranteed K would receive proper treatment. Medical experts say the 26-year-old is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and depression.

K’s lawyer André Seebregts welcomed the court decision, saying this is the first time extradition to the US has been refused. ‘It is quite correct that these issues are looked at with a critical eye,’ he said.

Opstelten can appeal against the decision. His spokesman told news agency ANP the minister is studying the verdict and will decide later whether or not to appeal.

K was released from jail pending the court ruling but is required to report to the police on a daily basis.

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