THE HAGUE: Dutch authorities have re-arrested a Dutch-Pakistani Al Qaeda suspect wanted by the United States, saying on Friday that all obstacles in his long-running extradition case had been cleared.
“Sabir K. was detained again last (Thursday) night on the order of the public prosecutor’s office for extradition to the United States,” the office said in a statement.
A Dutch court last year blocked the extradition of the man identified only as Sabir K. to stand trial for alleged acts of terrorism including planning a suicide attack on a US military base in Afghanistan’s Kunar province in 2010.
The 27-year-old Sabir K. said the US played a role in what he said was his torture in Pakistan following his arrest more than four years ago.
The Dutch court in its verdict last year in July said that “certain questions were raised about the role played by the United States in Sabir K.’s arrest in Pakistan”.
Without proof that the US was not involved in his alleged torture, extradition would be illegal, the court said.
Dutch authorities however said on Friday they received a letter from the US Department of Justice last month which denied any involvement in Sabir K’s detention in Pakistan.
“According to the (Dutch) Security and Justice Minister (Ivo Opstelten) this hurdle to prevent extradition has been removed,” the public prosecutor’s statement said.
“The decision was taken once additional information was sent from the US,” public prosecutor spokesman Wim de Bruin said, adding that an actual date for the extradition had not been set.
Sabir K.’s lawyer Andre Seebregts said he would file an urgent request to have his client freed and to stop the extradition. “There are no legal grounds to extradite him,” Seebregts said.
He also complained about what he termed the “heavy-handed approach” by an armed police team who arrested Sabir K. in The Hague, where he has been living for months.
Arrested in Pakistan, Sabir K. was brought back in April 2011 to the Netherlands, where a string of court rulings have accepted and then rejected his extradition.
Published in Dawn, November 22th, 2014