Extradition to France for drug smuggling defeated on grounds of inhuman prison conditions in Guadeloupe and Martinique

08.05.14 | |

A European Arrest Warrant issued by France to prosecute a man accused of smuggling over 80kg of cocaine and firearms into Guadeloupe has been discharged on Article 3 grounds arising from inhuman prison conditions in both Guadeloupe and Martinique. 


In the first extradition case arising from France’s overseas departments, District Judge Purdy discharged the EAW in light of the appalling, vermin-infested conditions in which the defendant would be held, if extradited. In a marked departure from recent High Court authority, the court accepted expert evidence on prison conditions where the expert had been denied access to inspect the facilities for himself.


The Judge relied on claims brought by Caribbean prison inmates to French courts detailing promiscuity at the prisons and agreed that the refusal of the French authorities to provide any assurance or adequate rebuttal of the evidence of the ‘wretchedness’ of the conditions which are ‘an affront to human dignity’ meant that extradition would engage and breach Article 3 of the Convention, the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment.


In France v Kurtis Richards, Ben Cooper was instructed by Margaret Gordon of Imran Khan solicitors.



The Guardian

Le Monde


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