Dubai court rejects Albania's request to extradite man wanted in double murder

Records show that the man was not in Albania when the crime was committed

Dubai Court of Appeal rejected an extradition request filed by Albanian authorities against a man accused of involvement in a double murder. AFP
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The Dubai Court of Appeal on Tuesday rejected Albania's request to extradite a man wanted for double murder because of a lack of evidence.

The Albanian authorities filed a request early last year seeking his extradition on charges of facilitating murder, possessing weapons without a licence, and being a member of an organised crime syndicate.

Awatif Mohammed, the man's lawyer, said the request was turned down because the UAE and Albania have no extradition treaty and the man was not in Albania when the crime was committed.

Investigators in Albania told Dubai authorities that the resident, 40, hired two assassins in 2012 and paid them €50,000 ($56,447) to kill a father and his son.

Officers in Dubai arrested the man, who is originally from Albania, when the case was first filed last year. He was taken into custody when he landed at Dubai International Airport on May 31, 2021. He denied all the charges.

Ms Mohammed, from Al Rowaad Advocates, said her client's wife paid Dh200,000 in bail and he was released nearly two months after his arrest, but the case continued.

“My client was detained for nearly 60 days," Ms Mohammed said. Records proved that he was in Macedonia when the crime was committed in Albania, she said.

The man told the court that the charges and the extradition request were aimed at damaging the reputation of his family, who were contesting elections in Albania.

“One of his well-known political family was running for elections in Albania and my client believes being requested for extradition in a murder he didn’t commit at the time of elections is an attempt to distort his family’s reputation and influence public opinion,” Ms Mohammed said.

She said she fought against prosecutors’ recommendation to approve the extradition request despite acknowledging in writing that it does not fulfil requirements.

“The UAE and Albania do not have a treaty signed in regards to extradition requests and this request was filed based on the Albanian authorities’ pledge to put the principle of reciprocity into practice,” Ms Mohammed said.

She told the court this practice involves the right to equality between the two countries in the absence of a signed treaty but, in this case, it does not stand as a sole reason to approve the request.

In 2016, the man also won a court case in Albania against the local police for maliciously involving him in the murder.

The court documents did not explain the reason for the long gap between the date of the crime and the extradition request.

Updated: February 02, 2022, 10:37 AM
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