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HomeSouth AsiaIndian national Nikhil Gupta extradited to US over alleged murder-for-hire plot

Indian national Nikhil Gupta extradited to US over alleged murder-for-hire plot

India: Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national accused in a murder-for-hire plot against Khalistan terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, has been extradited from the Czech Republic, media reports said Sunday. Gupta, 52, was arrested in the Czech Republic last year at the request of the US government. He is set to appear before a federal court in New York on Monday.

Gupta is currently detained at the federal Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, where he is listed as an inmate. The Washington Post was the first to report his extradition.

“Gupta, who had been detained in the Czech Republic, arrived in New York over the weekend,” sources familiar with the matter told on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the legal proceedings. Typically, extradited defendants must appear in court within a day of their arrival.

Federal prosecutors allege that Gupta hired a hitman to kill Pannun and paid $15,000 in advance. They also claim that an unnamed Indian government official was involved.

Gupta’s extradition coincides with the upcoming visit of US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to New Delhi for the annual ICET dialogue. Sullivan is expected to raise the issue with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.

India has denied any involvement in the case and has launched an investigation into the allegations.

Through his attorney, Gupta has denied the charges, asserting that he has been “unfairly charged.” Rohini Musa, Gupta’s attorney, wrote in a petition to the Indian Supreme Court that her client is being unfairly prosecuted, stating there is “nothing on record to link the Petitioner to the massive alleged plot to assassinate the alleged victim”.

Musa also complained that Gupta received poor legal advice from a Czech government-appointed attorney “under the undue influence of … U.S. Agencies” during his initial detention.

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