Bulgarian court to rule on extradition of French terror accused on January 20

The District Court in the Bulgarian town of Haskovo is to rule on January 20 on a request to extradite to France Fritz Jolie Joaquin to face charges of terrorism and participation in an organised crime group preparing acts of terrorism, public television said on January 16.

Joaquin, a French national of Haitian descent. has said that he was an acquaintance since childhood of one of the Kouachi brothers, who carried out the January 7 terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were murdered. Joaquin denies wrongdoing.

On January 16, Haskovo District Court ruled against an extradition application against Joaquin in connection with the alleged kidnapping of his three-year-old son.

Joaquin was arrested on the basis of a European Arrest Warrant issued in connection with the alleged kidnapping while trying to leave Bulgaria for Turkey in the small hours on January 1.

His wife had filed a complaint that he had taken their child without her permission, and allegedly intended taking him to Syria for training in radical Islam.

His connection with Cherif Kouachi and the allegations of involvement in terrorism emerged later, in a second European Arrest Warrant, received by Bulgarian prosecutors on January 12.

The Haskovo court declined the extradition application regarding the alleged abduction on the grounds that the offence regarding the alleged kidnapping was not classified as a crime under Bulgarian law.

Joaquin reportedly has said that he is prepared to be extradited to France but Bulgarian law allows him three days to change his mind.



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292