Dutch court approves extradition of al Qaeda suspect to US

[JURIST] Judge Gerard van Ham of The Hague District Court on Tuesday rejected a request to block the extradition of suspected al Qaeda [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive] terrorist Sabir Khan to the US. Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten [official website] gave final approval for Khan's extradition in December after the Supreme Court of the Netherlands [official website] ruled [JURIST report] in April that his extradition is legal. Khan, who is accused of plotting a suicide attack on an American military base in Afghanistan, argues [AFP report] that his extradition would violate the European Convention on Human Rights [text, PDF] and Dutch law because he was tortured upon being captured in Pakistan. However, van Ham rejected his request for an injunction, noting that there is insufficient evidence that the US was involved in his torture and that there is an agreement between Dutch authorities and the US that his rights will be respected. Khan's lawyer has also filed a request [AP report] with the European Court of Human Rights [official website] to block the extradition order.

Tuesday's decision by The Hague District Court affirms a decision made by the Rotterdam District Court in October 2011 approving the extradition. A federal indictment [AP report] against Khan 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 addition to the alleged plotting of the suicide attack in Afghanistan, Khan was arrested in Pakistan for possessing "destructive material and for allegedly aiding al Qaeda between 2004 and 2010.

 

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