High Court quashes “plain wrong” order for extradition

17.06.16 | |

On 15th June 2016, Mr Justice Collins quashed an order for the Appellant’s extradition, finding that the district judge’s decision was “plain wrong”.


The Westlaw summary of the decision can be found here. This case offers useful guidance on the application of the recent Divisional Court decisions in Edutanu v Romania [2016] EWHC 124 (Admin), [2016] A.C.D. 45 (regarding merged sentences) and Cretu v Romania [2016] EWHC 353 (Admin), [2016] A.C.D. 70 (concerning retrial rights).


Iftimie v Romania concerned an appeal against an order for extradition on three grounds. First, the Appellant maintained that the European arrest warrant did not include one of the underlying offences for which the sentence was imposed, and that it was accordingly inadequately particularised. This provided one the of the first opportunities for the High Court to apply the principles contained in Edutanu; a complex Divisional Court decision regarding the merger of sentences. Collins J. did not decide the point  due to other patent deficiencies in the EAW but, importantly, the judge underlined that in circumstances of merged sentences “it is not difficult - for the avoidance of doubt and for a belt and braces approach it would be sensible - to set out the bases on which any sentences were merged.


Second, the Appellant alleged that the district judge was wrong to find that surrender would not be a disproportionate interference with his private and family life rights under Article 8 ECHR. Collins J. found that the judge’s assessment was “defective” in material respects but, again, concluded that he did not need to decide the point due to the failure to properly consider the appellant’s retrial rights under section 20 EA.


In the end, Collins J. found that the district judge was wrong to conclude that the Appellant was at trial in Romania. Collins J. also found that the Respondent’s reliance on the recent Divisional Court decision of  Cretu v Romania [2016] EWHC 353 (Admin), [2016] A.C.D. 70 was misplaced. The Respondent judicial authority had indicated in the EAW that the appellant was both present and absent at trial: in such circumstances  it was “not open to the judge” to find that the appellant was at trial. Collins J. accordingly quashed the order for extradition meaning that the appellant, remanded into custody since November 2015, would be released forthwith.


The Appellant was represented by Graeme Hall, who was instructed by Renata Pinter of Dalton Holmes Gray.

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