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SOURCE: AFI

The Czech Constitutional Court has ruled that Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national accused of involvement in a plot to kill a Sikh separatist in America, can be extradited to the US. The decision, announced on May 22, rejected Gupta’s petition to avoid extradition and stated that lower courts had adequately considered all aspects that might prevent his extradition.

According to a report by news agency AFP, the Czech court said on Wednesday that it had rejected Gupta’s appeal against verdicts passed by lower courts approving his extradition to the US. The extradition to the US will need to be approved by the justice minister, which is yet to be done. 

Gupta has been accused by US federal prosecutors of collaborating with an Indian government official in a conspiracy to kill a New York City resident advocating for a sovereign Sikh state in northern India. The target of the plot, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, has been designated a terrorist by the Indian government. Gupta was arrested by Czech authorities on June 30, 2023, upon his arrival in Prague from India. The US Justice Department unsealed an indictment in November 2023, naming Gupta as part of the murder-for-hire scheme.

The Constitutional Court’s statement emphasized that there were no grounds for declaring the extradition inadmissible and that no constitutional rights or freedoms of Gupta would be violated by the extradition. “The Constitutional Court did not find any circumstance for which declaring extradition admissible would lead to a violation of any of the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights and freedoms,” the court said.

This ruling concludes Gupta’s legal proceedings in the Czech Republic. Justice Minister Pavel Blazek will make the final decision on the extradition. A spokesman for the Justice Ministry confirmed that Blazek would evaluate the court’s decision before issuing a ruling.

The Czech Republic has a history of complying with US extradition requests, and this case follows that precedent. The extradition process highlights the international cooperation in addressing and prosecuting transnational crimes.