High Court quashes extradition order of Graeme Hall’s client

On 29 June 2022, Mr Justice Lane quashed the decision of District Judge Clews to extradite Mr Oprea to Poland.

Lane J. concluded that DJ Clews was wrong to find that Mr Oprea was deliberately absent from his trial. While Mr Oprea had admitted his guilt on arrest and had agreed to a plea deal with the prosecution, the Polish authorities had not summoned him to attend the hearing at which the Polish court entered judgment, and the Polish authorities had failed to demonstrate how it could be unequivocally established that Mr Oprea was otherwise aware of that court hearing. Mr Oprea’s failure to attend that hearing was not, therefore, deliberate.

Additionally, Lane J. found that the Judge’s conclusion that Mr Oprea was an “evasive and untruthful” witness was unreasoned and therefore unsafe; that the Judge had erroneously applied an “exceptionality” test when conducting the Article 8 ECHR balancing exercise; and, that the Judge was wrong to find that Mr Oprea was a fugitive from justice.

Graeme Hall was instructed by Claire Kelly of Oracle Solicitors.