A French sect leader wanted in his home country over kidnapping, torture and extortion charges will be extradited from Malta, after a case at the Constitutional Court was thrown out on Friday morning.
In a case brought against 12 people, including the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, the Justice Minister and the Foreign Affairs Minister, 49-year-old Alain Schmitt questioned the manner of his arrest, the conditions of his detention and the validity of the extradition order, and claimed that he risked ill-treatment should he be taken back to France, citing terrible prison conditions and the country’s obsession on groups it perceives to be sects.
However, these arguments were all rejected by Mr Justice Tonio Mallia, who ruled that Mr Schmitt’s detention was justified, his European arrest warrant was valid, and the lawfulness of the extradition had been properly established.
Back in France, Mr Schmitt headed the Minh Vacma sect in the town of Algrange, close to the border with Belgium and Luxembourg. The group had around 20 members when it was dissolved in June 2005 following a police investigation.