Frenchman in Court for Indian Extradition

A FRENCHMAN who is wanted in India on child sex charges made a first court appearance before the magistrate appointed to conduct his extradition hearing in Namibia on Friday.

Appearing before magistrate Cosmos Endjala in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura, Mathieu Nicolas Furic (46) was told that he would remain in custody in Windhoek Central Prison while the Namibian government awaits the arrival of a formal extradition request from India within the next 30 days.

Furic has to appear before magistrate Endjala, whom Minister of Justice Utoni Nujoma has appointed to preside over the expected hearing of the Indian authorities’ request for Furic’s extradition to India, again on 4 August. Furic was arrested on 20 June after he had arrived at Walvis Bay airport on a flight from South Africa. With his arrival at the airport, it was noticed on a computer system that Interpol had listed Furic as a wanted person as a result of a warrant for his arrest that had been issued in India. Furic was planning to board a ship heading to Angola at Walvis Bay, police officer Mathew Shipanga says in a statement that was handed to magistrate Endjala on Friday.

In other documentation provided to the magistrate it is stated that an American citizen reported to the Indian police at Puri, a city situated south-west of Kolkata (Calcutta) on the east coast of India, on 2 December last year that he had seen a foreigner engaging in sexual activities with children a week earlier.

The American claimed he confronted the foreigner, who then grabbed him by the throat, and that he managed to get hold of the suspected sex tourist’s airline boarding pass from a bag that the man had with him. The name on the boarding pass was that of Mathieu Nicolas Furic.

The Indian police subsequently established that Furic had left India on 2 December. A warrant for the arrest of Furic was issued in Puri, in the state of Odisha (Orissa), on 17 January. Public prosecutor Simba Nduna told the magistrate on Friday that Interpol officials in Namibia have received an undertaking from their colleagues in India that a formal extradition request from India to Namibia would be sent through diplomatic channels. Nduna asked the magistrate to order that Furic should be kept in custody pending the receipt of the expected extradition request.

Furic’s lawyer, who did not oppose the application for a postponement of the matter to 4 August, said his client reserved all rights in terms of the Extradition Act.

Source : The Namibian