Thursday, July 16, 2020

Court rules man cannot be extradited to Montenegro

Village Court Magistrate Othilia Zvide on Thursday dismissed an application brought before her by the Directorate of Public Prosecution lawyer, Merapelo Mokgosi, to get a Montenegro citizen, Vukomir Markovic, extradited back home to stand trial on murder charges.
Dismissing the application, Zvide said that it was clear there was no extradition treaty between Botswana and Montenegro and that the Courts only act on the basis of law and nothing else.
Before dismissing the application, state prosecutor Mokgosi had also acknowledged that there was no basis on which to extradite Markovic who has been on remand for two months.

She further acknowledged that even the United Nations Convention can not be used as legal basis for his extradition.
Merapelo also admitted that European extradition policies which make it possible for extradition to take place even if countries do not have formal extradition agreements can not be applied in Botswana.

The DPP lawyer had earlier on stated that the Botswana government was duty bound to extradite Markovic back to his country to stand trial for charges he was facing and that even if there was no treaty between the two countries, he could still be extradited as is currently the case between Botswana and Zimbabwe.

The state alleges that Markovic had shot and killed a fellow country man back in his country last year.

After the Magistrate’s pronouncement the stone faced Montenegrin kindly kissed his Motswana girlfriend before he was again whisked away by policemen.

Markovic had earlier on expressed fear that if extradited to Europe his life would be in danger from organized gang criminals in European jails. He also denied charges leveled against him saying that he was an innocent man.
After Zwide’s pronouncement, he walked out of the Court a free man without cuffs.

Sources say that Markovic’s traveling documents are suspicious and that he might be handed to the Immigration Department for them to investigate whether his stay in the country was legal.

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