Thursday, April 17, 2008

Polish Murder Suspect Arrested in Iceland

The international division of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police received an arrest warrant from Interpol in Warsaw yesterday in regards to an Icelandic resident of Polish origin who is wanted for murder in his home country. The suspect later turned himself in.

Iceland’s Ministry of Justice received a request for extradition from Polish authorities immediately after the man was arrested. He was asked to give a report and then taken to a prison cell. He is expected to be remanded in custody today, Morgunbladid reports.

The man’s criminal history was brought to the attention of the Icelandic police by members of the Polish community in Iceland. The man is also suspected of belonging to a gang that attacked other Polish residents in their home in March.

Poles in Iceland are now requesting that Icelandic authorities do not issue residence and work permits for wanted criminals.

Minister of Justice Bj?rn Bjarnason told Morgunbladid that Iceland has applied for admission to the European Arrest Warrant Project so that a special arrest warrant from Interpol does not have to be received before the Icelandic police can arrest an individual in Iceland who is wanted for a crime in a different European country. A law amendment will follow.

Bjarnason denied claims that the current Icelandic regulations have made it easy for criminals from the EEA countries to hide in Iceland. “It is not correct considering how quickly we react after receiving a request [from abroad].”

“It may be true that someone convinced these men that they could find shelter here, but I don’t want Icelandic legislation to be interpreted in such a way at all,” Bjarnason concluded.