The Dutch Supreme Court has approved the extradition of a Dutch citizen to the United States to face charges of plotting suicide attacks against US troops in Afghanistan.
The court said in a statement it had upheld an appeals court decision in October 2011 to hand over the defendant, Sabir Khan.
“Lured to the Netherlands”
Younis the Dutchman, as Khan is known in the United States, was arrested in Pakistan in April 2011 and deported to the Netherlands, where he was handcuffed and arrested upon arrival at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
His lawyer said then that his client had been "lured to the Netherlands" and was not informed that he would be re-arrested at Schiphol or that he was on a US wanted list. The Dutch foreign ministry dismissed the claims, saying there was no obligation for him to be notified.
US ‘tortured’ Khan
Defence lawyers had argued the extradition violated European human rights laws because, they alleged, US officials had tortured Khan during his detention in Pakistan.
Sabir Khan, 24, said he was tortured, subjected to mock executions and detained in unhygienic and cold prison cells before being put on a plane to the Netherlands.
"The court however did not find any proof of direct involvement of US officials in this case," a summary of the court ruling said. "The Supreme Court considered this argument unfounded. There are no further legal obstacles to extradition."
Terrorist attacks in Afghanistan
US authorities issued a warrant for Khan's arrest on terrorism charges in June 2011. He allegedly colluded with al-Qaeda to launch attacks on US military forces in Afghanistan between July 2004 and September 2010.
Authorities say he carried out attacks in 2007, after crossing the border from Pakistan into Kunar province, where the US army suffered heavy casualties.
Following Tuesday's court ruling, Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten will examine the case – including evidence from the defence - before making a final decision on whether to extradite Khan to the US.
©Radio Netherlands Worldwide