Extradition refused: 14 years of culpable delay oppressive and unjust

Malcolm Hawkes acted in the extradition appeal of a man wanted to stand trial for offences of robbery, allegedly committed in Poland in 2006 when he was 17. He had left Poland for the UK that year, entirely lawfully and without restriction.

In the UK ever since, he had led a law-abiding and productive life, working in catering and being promoted to a managerial position. He had no partner or children, however.

In evidence, the Polish authorities admitted they knew the man had moved to the UK in December 2006 yet failed to issue an extradition request for him until July 2020. They offered no explanation, at all, as to why it took them 14 years to seek his return. The Polish authorities also refused the man’s offer to be interviewed by the police in the UK instead of being extradited.

In his judgment, Mr. Justice Johnson held that extradition would ‘destroy’ the man’s private life where his whole life was now in the UK. It would be oppressive and unfair for him to be returned to Poland to mount a defence to the allegations so long after the fact, where there was no good reason not to have sought his return many years before.

In Soszynski v Poland, Malcolm was instructed by Shyan MacTavish of National Legal Service Solicitors.