Judge discharges extradition request as requested person “suffered enough”

29.03.17 | |

 

District Judge Devas has discharged M, a single man with no dependants in the UK, from a European arrest warrant issued by the Czech Republic, ruling that surrender would be a disproportionate interference with M’s private life rights.

 

In 2015, the Czech Republic issued an EAW for M’s surrender for allegations of desecrating a cemetery, fraud, and failure to pay alimony from 2006 to 2008. M provided evidence to show that he had been previously extradited for the same or similar offences in 2009, that he had served an 18 month sentence, and that he had been imprisoned for non-extradition offences in breach of specialty protections. Following 7 months of proceedings (4 of which M spent in custody), 5 ineffective full extradition hearings, and numerous interim hearings, the Czech Republic conceded that the EAW was invalid (as it did not include details of the sentence imposed). However, the Czech Republic did not fully reply to M’s substantive contentions.

 

In 2016, the Czech Republic issued a further EAW for the same offences, although this time the EAW included details of the 18 month sentence. Following a number of ineffective full extradition hearings and numerous interim hearings, the district judge discharged M and criticised the Czech Republic and its representatives for the conduct of the proceedings. Judge Devas stated:

 

"I will simply say that the history of the three sets of proceedings does not show the RA or those representing them in particularly good light. There has been prevarication and delay in supplying important information some of which was still not available at the time of this hearing. … Suffice to say that this RP has suffered enough in terms of the amount of time spent on bail and in custody awaiting finality in these matters. This is, in my view, a unique case where the article 8 rights of the RP are disproportionately interfered with in view of the extensive delay caused by the three separate sets of proceedings. It is clear that whatever the reasons for the inadequacy of the earlier EAW’s (sic) and the necessity for numerous adjournments of the current proceedings, the RP is not to blame.

 

The somewhat unique circumstances of this case, as outlined in the most recent skeleton argument prepared by Mr Hall on the RP’s behalf and the agreed document, result in this being one of those rare occasions where the court should conclude that the balancing exercise [under Article 8 ECHR] should be decided in the RP's favour and I therefore Order that [M] be discharged from these proceedings"

 

M was represented by Graeme Hall, who was instructed by Katy Smart of Sonn Macmillan Walker Solicitors.

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