Kosovan drug smuggler Baki Sadiki is to serve 22 years in prison after being convicted for a second time in a retrial for smuggling heroin from Turkey to Slovakia back in 2007 and 2008. Sadiki was sentenced to prison in absentia two years ago, but he appealed for a retrial on a formal shortcoming after being extradited to Slovakia in 2012.
Sadiki pleaded not guilty and rejected an offer of a lower sentence if admitting guilt, saying “I’m really innocent. The whole thing is a mistake” and so the retrial, launched in November, had to repeat interrogation of witnesses etc. The Presov District Court judging on the case, issued the exact same verdict as the sentence imposed two years ago in Sadiki’s absence.
Sadiki’s advocate Tibor Basista appealed immediately and demanded that his client be freed, SME daily reports. The verdict could therefore still be overturned, once again, if the higher instance court, the Regional Court in Presov, decides to accommodate the appeal.
Sadiki became known in Slovakia after media released a recording of his phone call with Supreme Court chairman Stefan Harabin from 1994. This recording seems to show that Harabin and Sadiki knew one another well. Harabin still faces criticism and suspicion over the case, but denies it is his voice and even sued the Attorney General’s Office for EUR 150,000 for even admitting the transcript from the recording in its case file.