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Czech court okays extradition of Nikhil Gupta to US over alleged assassination plot of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

Nikhil Gupta has been detained in Prague since June last year following his arrest at the request of the US

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- May 23rd 2024 03:01 PM
Czech court okays extradition of Nikhil Gupta to US over alleged assassination plot of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

Czech court okays extradition of Nikhil Gupta to US over alleged assassination plot of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

PTC Web Desk: The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic has approved the extradition of Nikhil Gupta to the United States, where he faces charges related to an alleged plot to assassinate a US-based Sikh separatist leader, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

Nikhil Gupta has been detained in Prague since June last year following his arrest at the request of the US. The final decision on his extradition now rests with Czech Justice Minister Pavel Blazek.


Nikhil Gupta's appeal against the extradition was rejected by the Czech court based in Prague. The US government has charged Gupta with attempting to hire a hitman to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. The Constitutional Court dismissed Gupta's challenge to the rulings of the Municipal Court in Prague, dated November 23, 2023, and the High Court in Prague, dated January 8, 2024. Both courts had affirmed the admissibility of the US extradition request.

Gupta had contested the lower courts' decisions, alleging political motives behind the extradition request. The Constitutional Court, however, concluded that the lower courts had thoroughly reviewed all extradition documents submitted by the US government, as well as additional information provided by the US in response to Gupta's objections.

In January, the Constitutional Court had made an interim decision to suspend the lower courts' rulings. However, with the recent decision, the suspension has been lifted, paving the way for Gupta's potential extradition.

In November 2023, US prosecutors charged Gupta with plotting to kill at least four Sikh separatists in America, including Pannun. The US alleges that Gupta paid $100,000 (approximately Rs 80 lakh) in cash to a hitman to assassinate Pannun, who holds dual citizenship of the US and Canada. Unbeknownst to Gupta, the hitman he contacted was an undercover agent of a US agency. The US claims that Gupta was allegedly directed by an unnamed Indian government official, who has not been charged.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who leads the organization Sikhs for Justice, has been designated a terrorist by India's Union Home Ministry due to his association with the Khalistan movement. The White House had earlier raised the issue of the alleged assassination plot with senior Indian officials. In response, Indian officials have distanced themselves from the plot, asserting that such actions are against government policy.

- With inputs from agencies

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