The Prague City Court has issued an international warrant for the arrest of Qatari Prince Hamid bin Abdal Sani, who was sentenced to 2.5 years for sex with underage girls in the Czech Republic in 2005, but the verdict is not valid yet, court spokeswoman Martina Lhotakova told CTK Tuesday.
The appeals panel has failed to deliver the court decision and writ of summons to Sani. The trial, which was to start a year ago, has been adjourned several times.
Sani's defense counsel Umar Switat said previously the prince probably did not know about the appeals proceedings. However, they should not continue at all since the Qatari judiciary halted Sani's prosecution, Switat added.
The Justice Ministry has tried to deliver the court documents to Sani since end-2009.
It asked the Czech embassy in Kuwait to hand over an application for legal aid to the Qatari prosecutor's office via diplomatic channels. The embassy then urged the Qatari embassy in Kuwait to solve the problem repeatedly.
Sani, a member of the Qatari royal family, was convicted in the Czech Republic of sex with 16 underage girls five years ago in spite of the then Czech justice minister Pavel Nemec's decision on his extradition to Qatar made a couple of days after the charges were brought.
Sani was arrested after he arrived in Qatar, he spent eight days in custody and then he was investigated for several months. In 2007 a Qatari attorney halted his prosecution.
It ensues from the translation of the document explaining Qatar's legal steps that the local judiciary bodies did not charge him at all. Qatar claimed that the prince had already been punished by the custody in the Czech Republic and refused to deal with his case, then City Court spokesman Petr Kulawiak said.
This is why the Czech judge decided that Sani's prosecution in the Czech Republic would continue.
Czech courts previously assessed Nemec's decision to transfer the case to Qatar. Low-level courts considered it unlawful, but the Supreme Court concluded that the law enables the minister to make such a decision.
Sani demands a compensation of 250,000 crowns over his custody in the Czech Republic. The Justice Ministry rejected his claim, so Sani turned directly to the Prague district court.
Source: PragueMonitor.com, 12 January 2011