French sect leader Alain Schmitt has filed a Constitutional Appeal contesting a judgement given on April 30 which threw out his case in which he claimed breaches of human rights in the way he and his partner had been treated by the police, in prison and by the courts.
The court had also considered his arrest warrant to be valid and the extradition proceedings were considered valid and regular.
Mr Schmitt, 49 and his Belgian partner Laurence Liegeios are wanted by the French authorities to serve prison terms after being convicted for kidnapping and extortion. They were arrested in January and after the Magistrate’s Court ordered their extradition, they appealed the decision and lost.
They then filed a Constitutional case claiming breaches of human rights.
But Ms Liegeios, 47, left Malta after withdrawing her case saying she was missing her eight-year-old son Quinten, who had been in Malta but was then sent to live with his grandparents in France after she was detained.
In France, she is serving a 15-month term out of prison, wearing an electronic tag so she can be monitored by the authorities.
Mr Schmitt, who is nearly blind, stayed on to fight the case.
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.
The cult leader and his fiancée are in custody after France issued an arrest warrant for them as they are wanted on convictions of extortion and kidnapping, among other charges. [Read more...]
49-year-old Frenchman Alain Schmitt, the leader of a religious sect, and his fiancée, 42-year-old Belgian national Laurence Liegeois, were arrested in their Naxxar home on January 7, after a European arrest warrant was issued against them. [Read more...]