RIGA - Court proceedings began on June 5 to determine whether a Latvian national, wanted as a suspect in the murder of a London teenager, should be extradited to England.
The Preili District Court in the eastern part of the country authorized the arrest of 42-year-old Viktors Dembovskis after a European warrant had been issued a few days earlier.
The murder of Jeshma Raithatha, 17, has made headline news in Britain, where the A-level student was found slain on May 16. The teenager was attacked in a park on her way home from shopping on Wembley High Road. According to police, Raithatha was raped and stabbed in the heart three times.
Dembovskis will be held for up to 80 days while the court decides whether or not to extradite him. If the judge rules that Dembovskis should be extradited, a final decision could be postponed due to appeals.
A counsel for the defense told the Baltic News Agency that Dembovskis has denied his guilt.
Raithatha was reported missing by her parents on May 16. Eight days passed before her body was found. Dembovskis had reportedly worked in the U.K. as a car-wash attendant where the girl lived in north London and disappeared shortly after she was murdered. He reappeared in his native Livani, a town 240 kilometers from Riga.