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Man wanted over Prague businesswoman murder loses fight against extradition

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Potocek is being sought over the suspected kidnapping and murder of Jana Svobodova in Prague.

Potocek is being sought over the suspected kidnapping and murder of Jana Svobodova in Prague.

PA Archive/PA Images

Potocek is being sought over the suspected kidnapping and murder of Jana Svobodova in Prague.

A man wanted for the alleged murder of a Prague businesswoman has lost his legal battle to remain in Northern Ireland.

Marek Potocek was appealing an order for his surrender to authorities in his native Slovakia.

But the High Court in Belfast on Friday dismissed a challenge based on the lawfulness of extraditing him for a further offence of robbery.

Potocek, 28, was detained under a European Arrest Warrant at his Upper Darkley Road home in Keady, Co Armagh in April this year.

He is being sought over the suspected kidnapping and murder of Jana Svobodova in Prague.

The entrepreneur disappeared under mysterious circumstances back in July 2015.

Potocek and another man allegedly carried out the attack with an intent to steal from her, the court heard.

Ms Svobodova was rendered unconscious, abducted and driven away in her car, according to the prosecution.

At some point, still within the Czech Republic, she was killed and her body disposed of.

Potocek is wanted on an accusation warrant to face charges of murder and robbery.

Slovakian authorities sought his surrender by claiming jurisdiction over citizens for offences committed abroad.

Lawyers for Potocek challenged a determination that the alleged robbery is covered by the relevant section of the Extradition Act 2003.

Unless committed in the Republic of Ireland, it is not recognised as an extra-territorial offence under Northern Irish law.

However, Slovakia contended that the facts surrounding the alleged robbery could be substituted into an offence of unlawful act manslaughter in this jurisdiction.

Ruling on the appeal, Mr Justice McFarland focused on whether equivalent actions would be an extra-territorial offence in the UK.

"The conduct in this case is the alleged attack on the deceased, her being rendered unconscious, the theft of her property and her subsequent death," said.

"Unlawful act manslaughter is such an offence, and section 9 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 renders such an offence liable to prosecution in the UK, notwithstanding it was committed outside the UK."

Dismissing the appeal, the judge held that the correct legal test had been applied

He confirmed: "Potocek will be surrendered to Slovakia in relation to both offences referred to in the warrant."

Belfast Telegraph


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