Dane to be extradited in Indian arms case

Niels Holck, alias Kim Davy, alias Niels Christian Nielsen, will face Indian courts for his role in a weapons drop in 1995

The Justice Ministry has said it will extradite Niels Holck to India to stand trial after it received reassurances that he will not face the death penalty.

Holck has been wanted by Interpol and Indian authorities since 1995 when he and others tried to provide a ‘significant amount of weapons’ to rebel groups in the Indian state of West Bengal.

The 49-year-old Dane has lived under a number of aliases in Denmark since 1996 after he fled following the weapons drop from an aircraft over the territory.

His accomplice, Briton Peter Bleach spent eight years in a Kolkata jail for his part in the operation.

In an interview with Berlingske Tidende newspaper two years ago, Bleach fingered Holck as the main suspect.

‘In the Indians’ eyes I was a little fish. They view Niels Holck as the ringleader of the weapons drop,’ he said at the time.

The Justice Ministry has got a guarantee from its Indian counterparts that Holck will not be subject to the death penalty, will be returned to Denmark to serve his sentence within three weeks of judgement, will have access to Danish diplomats and family, will be treated in line with UN conventions and will have his case tried as quickly as possible.

When arrested at his home in Hillerød last week, he was found in possession of two false British passports.

However, during the court hearing on Saturday, Holck was not remanded to custody, but had to surrender his own Danish passport until the extradition is completed. He will also have to report to police every second day.