Rabah Kherbane secures discharge of Romanian extradition warrant for father of two
IU was wanted on a Romanian extradition warrant to serve a sentence of three years’ imprisonment for two offences: the first, trafficking of 1,000 ecstasy tablets into Germany, and the second, supply of ‘psychoactive’ substances in Romania in early 2015. The first offence was discharged on the basis of bars under Section 2, and 10 of the Extradition Act 2003.
IU fell into drug use when his father passed away in 2008, he became unemployed, and his wife was diagnosed with HIV and was unable to access medical treatment in Romania. IU was however able to rebuild his life in the United Kingdom from mid-2015, with his young son and new-born daughter, who is undergoing blood tests to determine her HIV status. IU was employed, otherwise of good character, and caregiver to his wife and family.
Rabah successfully argued that the Romanian authorities had failed to identify the precise nature of the ‘psychoactive’ substance for which extradition was sought, and therefore the court could not measure the seriousness of the offence for the purposes of Article 8. In contrast, IU had been resident in the UK for five years, his partner was unwell and vulnerable during a global pandemic in its third wave, and he had two very young children.
The judge agreed with Rabah’s submissions that extradition would not be compatible with IU’s rights under Article 8 of the Convention, and ordered his discharge. The judge was invited to, and gave due regard to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and Brexit.