Indian nationwide accused in plot to assassinate Sikh separatist is extradited to U.S. | EUROtoday

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An Indian citizen accused of trying to kill a Sikh separatist in New York has been extradited to the U.S. forward of an anticipated federal courtroom look, folks with information of the state of affairs confirmed.

The defendant, Nikhil Gupta, has been charged with homicide for rent linked to a foiled plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a twin U.S. and Canadian citizen who advocates for an unbiased Sikh state. Gupta, 52, is listed on the Board of Prisons inmate web site as being held on the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, a federal administrative detention facility.

Gupta’s legal professionals have stated he’s a law-abiding businessman unjustly caught up within the escalating geopolitical “crossfire” between the United States and the Indian authorities.

Gupta, who had been detained within the Czech Republic, arrived in New York over the weekend, in accordance with folks conversant in the matter who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate delicate authorized proceedings. Typically, extradited defendants should seem in courtroom inside a day of their arrival within the nation.

Federal prosecutors say a senior Indian authorities intelligence worker ordered the assassination of Pannun in May and employed Gupta to rearrange the hit. U.S. authorities broke up the plot final June earlier than it might be carried out. Pannun works as normal counsel for the New York-based Sikhs for Justice, a gaggle that seeks to carve from India an unbiased Sikh state referred to as Khalistan.

Gupta’s lawyer, Rohini Musa, wrote in a petition to the Indian Supreme Court that her shopper is being unfairly prosecuted, saying there may be “nothing on record to link the Petitioner to the massive alleged plot to assassinate the alleged victim.”

Musa complained that Gupta obtained hostile authorized recommendation from a Czech government-appointed lawyer “under the undue influence of … U.S. Agencies” through the preliminary section of his detention. She stated India and the United States have been “going back and forth to blame each other for their foreign policy.”

Prosecutors stated that hours after the assassination of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada on June 18, 2023, the unnamed Indian authorities agent despatched Gupta a “video clip that showed Nijjar’s bloody body slumped in his vehicle.” Hours later, in accordance with the indictment, the Indian authorities agent despatched Gupta the road handle of Pannun. The similar individual messaged Gupta two days later, saying that the assassination of Pannun was a “priority now.”

In September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated there have been “credible allegations” that brokers of the Indian authorities have been behind Nijjar’s killing.

Aaron Schaffer contributed to this report.