Czech Republic Extradites Georgian-Azeri Suspected in Iran-Backed Murder Plot to U.S.

Czech Republic Extradites Georgian-Azeri Suspected in Iran-Backed Murder Plot to U.S.

The Czech Republic on Wednesday extradited Polad Omarov, an Azeri with Georgian nationality, who is facing charges in the United States for plotting the murder of a prominent critic of Iran's government, to representatives of U.S. authorities at the Prague Vaclav Havel Airport, both Czech and American authorities confirmed last night. TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

Omarov, 39, along with Rafat Amirov and Khalid Mehdiyev, were charged with murder-for-hire and money laundering for their roles in the thwarted Tehran-backed assassination attempt of Masih Alinejad, an American human-rights activist in Brooklyn who has criticized the country’s repression of women.

Omarov was arrested in the Czech Republic last January after federal prosecutors in Manhattan had said that he held a leadership role in a group based in Eastern Europe. The FBI director Christopher Wray met Czech officials in Prague on Wednesday.

“With today’s extradition of Omarov, we have taken a significant step forward to hold Iranian actors accountable for their brazen plot to assassinate a U.S. citizen on American soil,” Mr. Wray said in a statement.

Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a separate statement that the alleged plots “are indicative of Iran’s policies of aggressive suppression and violence against anyone who speaks against them.

“Today’s extradition makes clear our unwavering resolve to charge and bring to justice any individuals attempting to stifle free speech in the U.S., especially at the behest of a malign foreign regime,” he added.

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