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Netherlands Supreme Court affirms terror suspect's extradition to US

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands [official website] on Tuesday approved [judgment, in Dutch] the extradition of a Dutch-Pakistani man suspected of preparing terrorist attacks on an American military base in Afghanistan in 2010. The suspect, known under Dutch privacy laws only as Sabir K., claimed that his transfer to the US would be illegal under Article 3 [ECHR backgrounder, PDF] of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms [text, PDF] (ECHR) because American authorities had allegedly tortured him following his arrest in Pakistan last year. The high court, however, flatly rejected [press release, in Dutch] K.'s argument and declared that "no direct involvement of US officials had been determined" in K's arrest or alleged subsequent treatment while in Pakistan. Ultimately, the court concluded that there are no legal obstacles to K's extradition, and the decision as to whether he will actually be delivered to the US now lies with the Netherlands Ministry of Security and Justice [official website].

Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling affirms a decision made by the Rotterdam District Court in October 2011. A federal indictment against Sabir K. [AP report] was issued by US attorney Loretta Lynch of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York [official website] in June 2011, shortly after he was originally extradited from Pakistan to the Netherlands in April. K. was arrested last year in Pakistan based on suspicions of plotting a suicide attack against American soldiers in Afghanistan, possession of guns and "destructive material" during attacks on US troops, and also for allegedly aiding al Qaeda [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive] between 2004 and 2010.

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