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Rediff.com  » News » HC upholds extradition of German national facing child abuse charges at home

HC upholds extradition of German national facing child abuse charges at home

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
February 28, 2023 18:32 IST
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The Delhi high court has upheld an order allowing extradition of a German national, accused of kidnapping, sexually abusing children and possessing material of child pornography, to Germany.

Image used for representational purpose only. Photograph: ANI Photo

The high court said there was no infirmity in the order passed by a trial court recommending the extradition of accused Bernd Alexander Bruno Wehnelt to face trial for the offences under the German Criminal Code.

 

It perused the trial court's order, written statement filed by the petitioner accused, the order/ letter issued by the Union of India and the record of the proceedings before the additional chief metropolitan magistrate.

"This court is of the considered opinion that the impugned order passed by the ACMM recommending the extradition of the petitioner to the Requesting State (Government of Federal Republic of Germany) to face trial for offences under the German Criminal Code, did not suffer from any infirmity and would be upheld, and the petition before this court of the petitioner would be dismissed," Justice Anish Dayal said.

The high court's order came on a petition filed by the accused seeking to set aside the Extradition Inquiry Report of August 24, 2022 and the order/ letter of September 16, 2022 of the Centre.

"Accordingly, the petition is dismissed and the impugned order is upheld. The petitioner would therefore be extradited by the government of India to the Federal Republic of Germany in accordance with applicable procedure," it said.

An extradition request was received from the Germany through diplomatic channels for the extradition of Wehnelt, who was an accused in his country.

According to the prosecution, the allegations relate to September 2003, when the petitioner had approached two children of four years and six years old while they were playing and took several objectionable pictures of them.

After an investigation, his locker in the faculty of Biology and Preclinical Medicine at the University of Regensburg, was found to have numerous CDs and DVDs in which child pornography material was found.

He was alleged to have committed the offences under the German Criminal Code, including Section 176, (sexual abuse of children); Section 184 (b) (dissemination/ procurement and possession of child pornography; Section 223 (bodily harm) and Section 234 (kidnapping).

He was arrested in 2020 in Karnataka for violation of the Foreigners Act after which the ACMM, before whom the inquiry proceedings relating to extradition were initiated, issued production warrants in March 2022.

Pursuant to this, the petitioner was produced before the ACMM on April 1, 2022 and has since been in custody in Tihar Jail in Delhi.

After conducting the enquiry, the ACMM had arrived at a finding that since the offences in question constituted an illegal/ criminal act under laws of both the countries and are punishable by at least one year imprisonment, in both the nations, the principle of dual criminality was duly satisfied and the offences in question were therefore extraditable offences.

The ACMM concluded the inquiry report and recommended to the Union of India the extradition of the petitioner.

After examining the written statement filed by the petitioner in which he refuted the allegations made against him, the central government also recommended his extradition from India for standing trial in Germany for the offences.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.