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Cartel hitman set to fight extradition bid


Imre Arakas was jailed for six years in December 2018

Imre Arakas was jailed for six years in December 2018

Imre Arakas was jailed for six years in December 2018

An Estonian hitman who was jailed for his role in a Kinahan cartel murder plot and is wanted over the murder of a Lithuanian pop star's lover will challenge a bid to extradite him in October.

Imre Arakas (62) was jailed by the Special Criminal Court for six years in December 2018 after he admitted conspir- ing with others to murder James Gately in Northern Ireland between April 3 and 4, 2017.

He is currently serving his sentence in a segregated block in Portlaoise Prison.


Lithuanian authorities suspect ex-wrestler Arakas was part of a three-man gang who conspired to murder a man who had an affair with pop star Vita Jakutiene.

Lithuanian police are seeking the surrender of Arakas, whose last address was Sopruse, Tall-inn, Estonia, to face charges that include a count of murder as well as firearms and conspiracy-related charges in relation to the shooting of Deimantas Bugavicius.

There is also another warrant for the sole charge of criminal damage.

Arakas was arrested by gardai in a holding cell at the Criminal Courts of Justice building in Dublin in February 2018 on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by Lithuanian authorities.

However, he was jailed by the non-jury Special Criminal Court for six years the following December after he pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to murder Mr Gately.

Yesterday, Aoife O'Leary BL, responding for Arakas, told Mr Justice Paul Burns that additional information from the Lithuanian authorities had been sought and received.

Affidavits had been filed in respect of her client, and two other men had now been charged in Lithuania.

Arakas appeared by video link from Portlaoise Prison for the brief hearing.

Mr Justice Burns fixed October 9 for the hearing, with the matter in for mention on July 20 to resolve any outstanding matters.