New Delhi, December 15 (EFE).- The Indian national accused by the United States of trying to hire a hitman, at the request of an Indian government official, to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader on American soil, asked for intervention this Friday d. India for his arrest, which he considers illegal.
A petition filed on behalf of accused Nikhil Gupta, who has been detained in the Czech Republic since June 30, claims that his detention was illegal and plagued by irregularities, according to specialist media outlet Bar and Bench.
“The circumstances surrounding the arrest were characterized by irregularities, with no formal arrest warrant being produced, and the arrest was carried out by self-proclaimed US agents and not by local Czech authorities,” Gupta defended in the statement.
According to the petition, Gupta was detained at Prague airport by several people who identified themselves as agents and forced him into a van, where they took his cell phone and questioned him, after which they identified themselves as US agents.
The defendant’s lawyer charged that the arrest and interrogation were illegal, adding that the agents denied his client access to consular assistance, the right to contact his family or to seek legal representation.
Although the Indian Supreme Court initially encouraged the petitioner to address his claim to a court in the Czech Republic, the deliberations will be revisited on January 4 when hearings resume after the winter break.
The US Justice Department last month charged Gupta with his involvement in a failed plot to assassinate a leader of the Sikh separatist movement on US soil and is awaiting the Indian national’s extradition to the US.
The US maintains that an Indian government employee, described as a senior field officer with intelligence and security responsibilities, led a group of people, including Gupta, to plan the assassination of Pannun, an activist labeled a terrorist by New Delhi.
According to authorities, Gupta contacted who he thought was an assassin but was actually an undercover agent after the Indian official gave him personal information about the victim.
India has said it is investigating the US charges, which come months after the killing by separatist Sikhs for Justice of Canada leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Trudeau implicated New Delhi in Nijjar’s murder and asked Indian authorities to cooperate in investigating the crime. India responded by suspending visas and withdrawing the immunity of 41 of the 62 Canadian diplomats in the Asian country. EFE