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Swede faces extradition over US terror charges

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09:06 CEST+02:00
A Czech prosecutor has said that a Swede being held in Prague on suspicion of terror offences should be extradited to the United States. The crimes of which he is accused are within the scope of the country's extradition treaty, a court was told on Monday.

The prosecutor was speaking at the start of a second hearing to decide the fate of the man, who was arrested in 2005 at Prague airport while in transit on his way from Sweden to Lebanon. The current hearing will either see the man released or extradited to the United States, which has a warrant out for his arrest.

The man, 41, was arrested under an Interpol warrant. The decision on whether to extradite him will depend on how the Czech courts and the country's justice minister interpret the extradition treaty with the United States.

An earlier hearing was postponed while the court waited for more evidence to arrive from the United States. That evidence has now arrived at the court, and consists of witness statements backing up claims that the man helped run a training camp for terrorists on a ranch in Oregon in 1999.

The Swede denies terror charges. A Swedish prosecutor, Tomas Lindstrand, had previously investigated the American claims but opted not to pursue the case.

Sweden's ambassador in Prague, Catherine von Heidenstam. is following the case:

"The defence counsel argued in quite a long submission that the information [from witnesses] is obtained by force and is therefore not a basis for charges, and also argued that the case had already been examined in Sweden without a prosecution or conviction," she said.

The case will continue on Wednesday, when a decision could be delivered on whether to extradite the man. Any such decision could be appealed. Even if a higher court decided to extradite the man this would only happen with the approval of the country's justice minister.

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