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Czech Republic Extradites Indian Accused In Punnun Murder Case To US

Extradited from the Czech Republic to the US, Indian national Nikhil Gupta is charged with planning the assassination of US resident Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and Khalistani terrorist on US soil.

Gupta was extradited on Friday, June 14, at the Prague-RuzynÄ Airport. He is scheduled to appear in federal court in New York today.

“After the final and binding decision of the Municipal Court in Prague dated November 23, 2023, in conjunction with the decision of the High Court in Prague dated January 8, 2024, regarding the admissibility of the extradition of Nikhil Gupta for criminal prosecution to the United States of America, the Minister of Justice of the Czech Republic authorised the extradition of Nikhil Gupta to the United States of America by a decision dated June 3, 2024,” Vladimir Repka, spokesperson, Ministry Of Justice, Czech Republic, told news agency.

Repka added that the extradition to the US was authorised for criminal prosecution on suspicion of committing the crime of conspiracy to commit a murder-for-hire with the intent to cause death in violation of “Title 18, United States Code, ç 1958(a), and the crime of murder for hire with the intent to cause death, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, 1958(a),”.

According to news agency, Gupta, 52, is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Centre, Brooklyn, a federal administrative detention prison, according to a search conducted on the Bureau of Prisons website by the inmate’s name on Sunday, June 16. Moreover, an unnamed source independently verified Gupta’s extradition and his custody in Brooklyn to news agency.

Nikhil Gupta’s attempt to prevent being deported to the United States was denied by a Czech court last month, which cleared the path for his extradition by the Czech justice minister.

On June 30 of last year, Gupta was taken into custody in the Czech Republic on the basis of US accusations that he was part of a plot to carry out the murder. US federal prosecutors claim that Gupta was involved in a scheme to hire a hitman to murder a US citizen, allegedly with the approval of an Indian government official. Pannun was determined to be the target.

The extradition of Nikhil Gupta occurs ahead of the annual ICET dialogue in New Delhi, which is being attended by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. It is anticipated that Sullivan will bring up the issue prior to his Indian colleague, Ajit Doval.

India has established an inquiry committee to look into the US’s accusations and has denied any involvement in the Pannun murder plot.

Nikhil Gupta has also refuted the allegations and claimed he has been “unfairly charged” through the representation of an attorney.

Due to allegations of terrorism, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is dual citizen of the US and Canada, is wanted in India. The Union Home Minister has classified him as a terrorist in accordance with the strict Anti-Terror Law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

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