Kenya to extradite German in drugs case

June 18, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 – A German who is wanted for drug trafficking charges in Belgium will be extradited in the next 15 days.

Gunter Grochowski who is allegedly wanted for trafficking in 115kg of cocaine, unsuccessfully challenged the move to extradite him to Belgium at a Nairobi court. His alleged accomplice – who was arrested with the drugs in South Africa – had implicated him in the trade.

Dismissing his case, Nairobi’s Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei said courts had a duty to assist member states that have ratified the UN Convention against illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances (1998).

The government of Belgium, through its embassy in Nairobi had requested for his extradition on allegations of trafficking in the drugs. But the businessman, who says he has invested a lot in Ukunda area of Mombasa, told Mr Mutembei that he had the right to be heard before being extradited.

He challenged the plans denying any links in the drugs which were netted with an alleged accomplice en route to South Africa. He further said that Kenya had no obligation to send him to Belgium yet it was not his country.

An international warrant of arrest was issued by a Belgian judge on November 6 last year, seeking the arrest and extradition of Mr Grochowski.

In support of the extradition, Senior State Counsel Dorcas Oduor said Mr Grochowski was arrested on April 2, this year, at Ukunda and brought to Nairobi. This followed a request from the Belgian embassy.

Mr Grochowski appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Stella Muketi, but the original extradition order was not available. He was freed on cash bail of Sh300,000 and a Kenyan surety. Thereafter, the 50-year-old businessman was allowed to challenge the order.

And on Thursday, his application was dismissed by Mr Mutembei who said:  “The spirit of the Conventions captured in the preamble calls for members states to cooperate and stop the sale and transit of illicit drugs and narcotic substances. Both Kenya and Belgium are member states.”

He directed that he should be taken to Belgium and charged in accordance structures and laws of that country.


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