Weybread murder suspect Ali Qazimaj arrested in Luxembourg
- Credit: Archant
Efforts are being made to extradite Suffolk double murder suspect Ali Qazimaj after he was discovered in Luxembourg.
The 42-year-old – wanted in connection with the homicide of 75-year-old Peter Stuart from Weybread, near Diss, and his wife Sylvia, who is still missing – was detained late on Thursday night.
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Parkes, the man leading the inquiry, said Mr Qazimaj was recognised by a worker at a hostel in Luxembourg City.
The staff member identified the forklift truck driver from Tilbury by looking on the internet.
It is unclear at this stage whether Mr Qazimaj had been staying at the hostel or was trying to check in at the time.
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Suffolk Constabulary has declined to say if Mr Qazimaj was using the name which is on his British passport, or Marco Costa, by which he is also known.
Det Ch Supt Parkes said: 'He was found by a member of the public who worked at a hostel who reported what she believed to be Ali Qazimaj to the local authorities.
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'He was detained on a European Arrest Warrant in connection with the murder of Peter and Sylvia Stuart.'
Mr Qazimaj remained in custody in Luxembourg City yesterday and was expected to make his first appearance before a court to begin extradition proceedings during the afternoon or over the weekend.
Det Ch Supt Parkes added there was 'clearly an element of relief' in finding Mr Qazimaj after looking for him for nearly two weeks.
He described the arrest as 'obviously a significant development for the investigation'.
Police are still trying to find Mrs Stuart, 69, although they believe she is dead. Det Ch Supt Parkes said: 'Although we have no expectation of finding her alive we are still looking for her.'
The Stuarts were reported missing early on June 3.
By late afternoon it was suggested it was likely to become a criminal inquiry as something may have happened to the couple.
While conducting a search of the area around their home, officers found Mr Stuart's body at around 7pm in woodland nearby. He had been stabbed multiple times.
Subsequently police have said Mr Stuart had been dead for a number of days.
Mr Qazimaj's Citroen C3 was found at Athol Terrace, Dover, just before midnight June 5, after his name came to the attention of police.
It was discovered he had travelled to France on a ferry from Dover as a foot passenger the previous evening.
Mr Qazimaj came to the UK from Kosovo after the conflict ended in the late 1990s. He was granted asylum and given a British passport.
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Parkes said the speed of the extradition proceedings depend on whether Ali Qazimaj decides to fight them.
If he chooses not to do so, Suffolk Constabulary have a 10-day window in which to send officers to Luxembourg to bring Mr Qazimaj back to the UK.
If he objects to being returned, it could develop into a lengthy struggle.
Throughout the proceedings detectives will be working with the Crown Prosecution Service, National Crime Agency and the authorities in Luxembourg, as well as the country's judiciary.