Court finds that Lithuania lacks Specialty Protection

On 12 October 2018, District Judge Grant discharged a Lithuanian national, Mr Zuolys, from a European arrest warrant.

Mr Zuolys’ extradition was sought to serve the balance of a 12 year “cumulative” or “combined” sentence imposed for (at least) three offences. The first two offences were either not detailed in the European arrest warrant or did not constitute an extradition offence (i.e. they were not offences recognised under the law of England and Wales). In turn, Mr Zuolys could not be extradited in relation to the first two offences.

According to Article 27(2) of the Framework Decision 2002 - which governs the European arrest warrant (incorporated by section 17 of the Extradition Act 2003) - a person who is extradited cannot be dealt with in the requesting state for any offence other than the offence or offences for which he is extradited. This is known as “specialty protection”.

Accordingly, Lithuania was required to disaggregate the combined sentence and resentence Mr Zuolys in relation to the third offence, only.

On the basis of defence expert evidence as well as evidence from Lithuania, the District Judge found that there are no legal procedures or remedies in Lithuania for the disaggregation of combined sentences. Accordingly, Mr Zuolys had to be discharged from the European arrest warrant request in its entirety. In so doing, the Judge accepted that there was no requirement for Mr Zuolys to demonstrate that there had been previous breaches of specialty protection in Lithuania.

The judgment can be accessed here.

Mr Zuolys is represented by Graeme Hall of Doughty Street Chambers, who was instructed by Neil Allan of Tuckers Solicitors.