POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - JUSTICE

Justice system

Spain releases Luxembourg convicted murderer



A most-wanted search card issued by Europol for Jean-Marc Sirichai Kiesch Photo: Europol

A most-wanted search card issued by Europol for Jean-Marc Sirichai Kiesch Photo: Europol

According to RTL, Luxembourg’s public prosecutor has said it will issue a new European and international arrest warrant for Jean-Marc Sirichai Kiesch after authorities in Spain on a technicality.

Jean-Marc Sirichai Kiesch in October 2000 was convicted to 20 years in prison, including five on probation, for the murder of a 69-year-old woman and attempted arson. Kiesch was a minor at the time of the crime but turned 18 one day later, on 6 January 1999.

In 2004, during leave from prison granted for good behaviour, Kiesch fled the country, making him one of Europe’s most-wanted criminals. It would take 16 years for police to arrest him on 10 August 2020 in Punta Umbria, Spain.

Spain refused an extradition request made that same month, prompting Luxembourg’s justice system to demand he serve the rest of his sentence--3,275 days in prison--in Spain.

But Spain’s penal court on 10 September ruled that it cannot recognise the Luxembourg verdict because Kiesch was a minor when he committed the crime. “No appeal against this decision is possible,” Luxembourg’s public prosecutor said in a statement on 13 September.

“The public prosecutor's office can only take note of said decision, which does not take into account Luxembourg criminal proceedings, which in this case allowed the prosecution and trial of a minor over 16 years of age,” it said.

The decision also doesn’t take into account an EU framework agreement on the mutual recognition of judgments in criminal matters, according to the Luxembourg prosecutor.

However, according to a report on RTL’s Luxembourg-language site, the public prosecutor has now decided to issue a new European and international arrest warrant for Kiesch.