US extradition request blocked by Dutch court

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Citing concerns over the suspect's rights, a court in The Hague has blocked the extradition of a man with dual Dutch-Egyptian nationality.

The lawsuit was started after the Dutch Minister of Justice, Piet Hein Donner, agreed to the extradition. The suspect has apparently been in custody for the past eight months pending his extradition. The court ruled that, following changes in US law after the September 11 attacks of 2001, he could not be guaranteed unrestricted access to a lawyer, and there was the possibility that due to alleged al-Qaeda links he could be detained indefinitely without trial.

A note provided by United States diplomats was not viewed by the district court as adequate assurance of the suspect's right to due process; the Embassy had protested the requirement of assurances and qualified their statement to the court in specifying that a suspect would receive the rights laid out in the U.S. constitution when "at their trial".

The man, who was only identified by his initials, MA, is accused of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud with the aim of aiding the al-Qaeda terrorist network.