A Czech appeals court has ruled that Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national allegedly involved in the foiled murder plot of a Khalistani terrorist, can be extradited to the US.
Gupta has been accused by the US prosecutors of collaborating with an Indian government official in a foiled plot to kill Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
A final decision on the extradition of the 52-year-old Gupta will be in the hands of Justice Minister Pavel Blazek once the ruling is delivered to all parties in the case, Reuters reported citing a Czech Justice Ministry spokesperson.
Gupta was arrested in the Czech Republic on 30 June at the request of the US, which accused him of being involved in the planning to kill Pannun.
In the appeals court, Gupta had reportedly argued that his identity was mistaken and that he was not the man the United States was looking for. He described the case as political.
Despite Gupta's appeal against a lower court's decision in December, which permitted his extradition, the Prague High Court has upheld the ruling.
US federal prosecutors have charged Gupta with murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, with each count carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Gupta was charged on 20 November by the US Justice Department for his involvement in the alleged murder plot.
According to US officials, Gupta had agreed to pay $100,000 to an assassin to carry out the killing, with an advance payment of $15,000 already made on June 9, 2023.
However, the individual he contacted for the hitman turned out to be a confidential source working with US law enforcement.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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