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Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg slams Arizona prosecutor who won’t extradite murder suspect: ‘Political games’

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(NEW YORK) — Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg criticized his Maricopa County, Arizona, counterpart who doesn’t want to extradite a New York City murder suspect, saying she’s playing “political games in a murder case.”

Raad Almansoori, 26, is in custody in Arizona, where he is charged in two stabbings. He is also the suspect in the death of Denisse Oleas-Arancibia, 38, who was found beaten and strangled at New York’s SoHo 54 Hotel earlier this month.

Bragg said he learned from Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell’s Wednesday news conference that Mitchell would not extradite Almansoori.

“Her reasoning?” Bragg said at a news conference Thursday. “Not because that’s what the law dictates. Not because that’s what advances justice. Not because of a concern for victims. Not at the request of the NYPD. But rather, plain and simple, old-fashioned grandstanding and politics.”

“That should have no place in our profession,” Bragg said. “It is deeply disturbing to me that a member of my profession … would choose to play political games in a murder case.”

Mitchell said at her news conference Wednesday that she would not agree to send Almansoori to New York.

“Having observed the treatment of violent criminals in the New York area by the Manhattan DA there, Alvin Bragg,” Mitchell said, “I think it’s safer to keep him here and keep him in custody, so that he cannot be doing this to individuals either in our state or county, or anywhere in the United States.”

Mitchell “professes concern that a murder suspect in Manhattan would be released?” Bragg responded at his news conference. “I do not know what they do in Arizona, but I know that here in this county, New York County, we routinely seek and get remand … in our murder cases.”

Bragg said shootings in Manhattan decreased by 38% and homicides have dropped 24% during his two years as DA.

He stressed that New York City’s murder rate is less than half Phoenix’s rate.

Almansoori is facing charges of attempted homicide, theft of means and aggravated assault in Surprise, Arizona, and robbery, assault, theft and criminal damage in Phoenix, police said. He is being held without bond.

The Arizona and New York crimes are both important, Bragg said, but he slammed Mitchell for not calling him to speak about the cases and instead holding a news conference.

Moving forward, Bragg said he hopes to have “regular, professional conversations” about Almansoori’s extradition.

If Almansoori agrees to be extradited to New York, “it’s a moot issue,” Bragg said, but if he does not agree to be extradited, Bragg said his office would likely prepare an extradition package.

Bragg said that extradition package would be reviewed by the governor, not a local prosecutor.

“This is not the Maricopa County attorney’s decision, and I’m hoping that facts, law, justice and reason will prevail,” he said.

Almansoori was arrested in Arizona on Feb. 18 after he allegedly stabbed a woman and stole a car, authorities said. While in custody, Almansoori allegedly indicated to police that he was involved in another stabbing in Arizona, a deadly attack in New York City and an attack in Florida, authorities said.

ABC News’ Aaron Katersky and Alex Stone contributed to this report.

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