WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's justice official has expressed regret that Ireland is delaying the extradition of a wanted Pole and is seeking a European Union court's opinion on Poland's rule of law.

The Justice Ministry was reacting Tuesday to a report in The Irish Times saying an Irish High Court judge believes that Poland's rule of law has been "systematically damaged," and that it raised questions about Poland's extradition request for a Pole wanted on drug trafficking charges.

Poland's Deputy Justice Minister Marcin Warchol said that Ireland was "delaying the punishment of a dangerous criminal" and insisted Poland's justice system and judges remain independent.

Poland's right-wing government has drawn criticism from EU leaders with its sweeping changes to the Polish judiciary.