Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Maldives, Lanka working on extraditing LTTE suspects

The Maldives and Sri Lanka are working towards extraditing to Colombo, the four LTTE suspects convicted of several crimes including smuggling of arms and currently in prison here.

An extradition treaty between the two friendly countries will enable the Maldives to transfer the four LTTE suspects to Colombo but when the decision would be taken was not known yet, Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed said.

“There are no legal snags in extraditing the prisoners to Sri Lanka since there is a treaty between the two countries to that effect,” the Foreign Minister told the Maaloafaanu website.

“There is no definite time as when the decision will be made and we are working on the matter now,” he said.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner Mohamed Ali Farook said Colombo government’s request to the Maldives to extradite the prisoners still stood.

“Sri Lanka is ready to ensure that the prisoners serve the same sentence in Colombo, if they were handed over” Mr. Farook said.

The Foreign Ministry is scheduled to send a copy of the official court verdict to the Sri Lankan High Commission today to be delivered to the Sri Lankan Government.

The court on Sunday sentenced the four suspects to fifteen and a half years in jail after they were captured by the Maldives Coast Guard in May 17 in Maldivian territorial waters while smuggling arms to Sri Lanka.

On May 22, a team from Sri Lanka arrived here for its own investigations into the incident and requested the Maldives to hand them over to Sri Lanka following the court procedure.

Source: Daily Mirror

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