Merapelo Mokgosi of the Directorate of Public Prosecution has said that Botswana has a duty under the United Nations Convention to extradite Vukomir Markovic to his home country of Montenegro to stand trial for the murder he is alleged to have committed on September 2, 2006.
Mokgosi said this during submissions in a case in which Markovic is opposing an extradition application brought before the Court by the Directorate of Public Prosecution on behalf of the Montenegro government.
Montenegro wants Markovic to be extradited to stand trial for the murder of Ljugomir Dujovic whom it is alleged he killed by shooting him 12 times with an automatic double caliber 7,62TT gun.
According to Mokgosi, the mere fact that Botswana and Montenegro do not have an extradition treaty can not stop the intended extradition because extradition in such a situation can be done under the Geneva Convention.
She further submitted that a similar situation where extradition can still be done in cases where there is no treaty between the two countries is with Zimbabwe, which is no longer a member of the Commonwealth but people can still be extradited from either of the two countries under the Geneva Convention.
Mokgosi produced documents in Court to prove her case that there is still extradition taking place between the two countries although they do not have an extradition treaty. Besides that, she submitted that even under common law in Botswana, murder is an extraditable offence.
Extraditing Markovic, she submitted, would not be contrary to any Botswana laws, adding that extradition can be opposed by the Director of Directorate of Public Prosecution if they felt that the offence the person is wanted for is politically related. She said there is evidence that in the present case, Markovic is wanted for a purely criminal offence having allegedly shot to death another person in his home country.
This crime in Montenegro, she said, carries a sentence of 15 years imprisonment whilst in Botswana it carries a maximum penalty of death sentence.
Mokgosi requested the Court to further remand Markovic in jail for 30 days in order for the two countries to complete all the documentations needed to finalise the extradition procedure.
For his part, the shackled Markovic, speaking through an interpreter, asked the Court to dismiss the charges against him as he said they are false.
He also said he feared for his life in European prisons where crime by organized gangs is rife.
Ruling on the matter is scheduled for November 19 (Monday).