Czech authorities successfully apprehend fugitive after 30 years on the run in the US

The 51-year-old, who has a US citizenship, falsely testified against two people in the 1990s, resulting in their incarceration.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 29.08.2023 10:59:00 (updated on 29.08.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

After nearly three decades on the run, a man convicted of perjury has successfully been extradited from the U.S. to Czechia, according to authorities. The man had been residing in the U.S., where he had become a citizen. He is only the second Czech citizen to be extradited from the North American country.

The individual in question, now 51 years old, was involved in a murder case during the 1990s. He provided a false testimony, resulting in the incarceration of two innocent individuals. After a few months, he revoked his accusations but knew he could not escape the consequences, thus disappearing overseas.

Using legal appeals to stay in U.S.

The police had been aware of the man's presence in the U.S. for years, but faced difficulties in extraditing him. Moving from state to state to conceal his exact whereabouts, he made use of legal remedies and appeals to elude authorities. "Wanted persons have the right to utilize all available legal means in their defense within the given country," explained Libor Předota, head of the police operational cooperation department.

Despite being sentenced in absentia by Czech courts, the man acquired U.S. citizenship, which further complicated his extradition. The police encountered numerous setbacks in their pursuit for a long time. Even when they recently flew to Atlanta, they were unsure if they would successfully apprehend him, but their efforts paid off, and the man arrived in Czechia on Monday.

New trial is possible

The criminal is to spend four years in prison. However, because he was convicted in absentia, he can request a new trial. It is thought that the Czech was able to resist extradition for so long because of his (relatively) less-serious charges.

AGENCY PROPERTIES

Extradition from the U.S. is often a complex process. The first person ever extradited by the Czech justice system was Kevin Dahlgren, who murdered four of his relatives in Brno and then fled to his homeland. His extradition in 2015 was accompanied by exceptional security measures.

"It was the long-term building and development of contacts with partners in the U.S. that ultimately helped to achieve a successful outcome – the fulfillment of justice – which involves the man serving his sentence in the Czech Republic," police spokesman David Schön concluded. 

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