Copenhagen, Jun 30 : Niels Holck alias Kim Davy, a Dane accused in the infamous Purlia armsdrop case 16 years ago cannot be extradited to India because of the risk of torture, a Danish court ruled Thursday.
The Eastern High Court upheld a previous ruling opposing the extradition of 49-year-old Niels Holck alias Kim Davy , saying it is against Danish law because he would risk “torture or other inhuman treatment” in India.
The ruling by an unanimous five-judge panel was a defeat for the Danish Justice Ministry, which last year decided it would meet India's extradition request. Holck alias Kim Davy then tested the ruling before Danish courts.
“I don't know whether I should be happy, because the prosecution can appeal,” Kim Davy said after the ruling.
Prosecutor Joergen Jensen said he would discuss the ruling with the Justice Ministry before deciding on whether to appeal to the Supreme Court, Denmark's top judicial instance.
Holck alias Kim Davy, has acknowledged taking part in dropping assault rifles, rocket launchers and missiles from a cargo plane onto a field in eastern India in 1995. Indian police said the cache was meant for an Indian revolutionary group.
A Briton Peter Leach and a five-man Latvian aircrew were arrested by Indian authorities shortly after, but Holck alias Kim Davy escaped and eventually reached Denmark by way of Nepal. AP
PTI adds: A CBI spokesperson quoting initial reports from Denmark said the “plea has been denied on the grounds of jail conditions and human rights issues which is a subject outside the purview of the investigation agency.” The five-judge bench of Denmark High court upheld the decision of a lower court which had rejected Danish government's move to allow CBI's request for extradition of Davy after getting a number of soverign assurances from India including that no death penalty would be imposed on him and permission to serve imprisonment, if decided by court, in Denmark prisons.
The Danish government had appealed against the order of the lower court before the High Court which had reserved its decision. The CBI spokesperson said the copy of the judgement was awaited.
“There has been no adverse comments comments about the CBI investigations. “Once the judgement is received, the CBI will request the Ministry of Justice, Denmark government, through diplomatic channels, to appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court of Denmark,” the spokesperson said.
Davy is wanted by CBI in connection with the arms drop case when an AN-26 aircraft dopped arms and ammunition in Purulia district in the state of West Bengal in India on December 17, 1995. The consignment had hundreds of AK-47 rifles, pistols, anti-tank grenades, rocket launchers and over 25,000 rounds of ammunition.
“We are convinced that the accused Niels Christan Nielsen alias Kim Davy is main conspirators and executer of this crime and we will amke all possible efforts to get him,”the spokesperson said.
In an official release yesterday, the CBI spokesperson had said that Davy had not been contesting evidence or the investigation done by CBI and had on several occasions,largely admitted his role in Purulia arms drop case in the Danish court as also in the media, including Indian media.
“His arguments in courts focussed mainly on alleged poor prison conditions and human rights issues in India,” CBI had said.
Since the Danish government is defending its decision, CBI is not a party in the case but a team was sent to “assist” the prosecution with facts and Indian laws.
The crew of the aircraft consisted of five Latvian citizens and Peter Bleach, a British citizen, were arrested while Davy managed to escape.
According to British national Peter Bleach, one of the accused, Davy led the operation and took a cargo plane took from Gatwick Airport in London with four tonnes of weapons undetected. After nearly crashing in Isfahan in Iran they landed in at Karachi in Pakistan from where they entered India via Varanasi.
The crew of the aircraft were released in 2000 after requests from the Russian authorities while Bleach was given a Presidential pardon on February four, 2004 following requests by the UK government. PTI