04 Feb 15
Fugitive Montenegrin Drug Baron Extradited to Germany
Following arrest in Austria, the suspected Montenegrin drug trafficker Safet Kalic has been extradited to Germany to face charges – although Montenegro also sought his extradition.
Austrian authorities on Tuesday confirmed that an alleged Balkan drugs trafficker, Safet Kalic, a Montenegrin citizen, had been extradited to face charges in Germany.
Montenegro also sought his extradition but the authorities in Vienna said the German request took priority as Austria and Germany are both members of the European Union and have to comply with each others’ extradition requests under the system of “European arrest warrants”. This obliges each member state to meet extradition requests by other EU countries.
Since Tuesday night, Kalic has been held in Aachen, a German border town near The Netherlands and Belgium.
Kalic was arrested in Austria on October 20 under the false name of Rifat Murik. He had spent three years in hiding. Montenegrin authorities issued a Red Interpol warrant for Kalic in 2011.
In November, the Ministry of Justice asked the Ministry of Justice in Austria to return Kalica to Montenegro to face charges of laundering over 7.7 million euros, allegedly earned from trafficking drugs in Germany between 2005 and 2011. Police in Montenegro arrested Kalic’s brother, Mersudin, and his wife, Amina, as suspects the same year.
Last year, his trial in absentia took place in Montenegro but the rendering of the verdict was delayed by Kalic’s arrest in Austria.
Montenegro still hopes to see Kalic face a trial in Montenegro and the Ministry of Justice has said it will submit a request to Germany for his return.
“The extradition of Safet Kalic to Germany is not a limitation on Montenegro’s request,” the ministry said in a statment.
Kalic was reportedly one of the biggest drugs barons in the Balkans and a close associate of Darko Saric, another drugs baron suspected of smuggling cocaine.
Serbian police named him as a major drug dealer in the former State Union of Serbia and Montenegro back in 2003.
He was linked to several people in the so-called Zemun clan, the crime gang held responsible for the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in 2003.
A video of his wedding posted on YouTube in May 2010 showed many guests from the Balkan criminal fraternity – as well as officials from the Montenegrin National Security Agency.
Among the guests were Saric himself and Ljubisa Buha Cume, former chief of the Zemun gang, who became the chief protected witness for the Serbian prosecution in the Djindjic murder case.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)