Sweden extradition request is discharged on Article 8 grounds

A Tunisian national, represented by Katrina Walcott, has been discharged from a Swedish extradition request.

The requested person was subject of a conviction warrant, arising from multiple convictions for theft committed in Sweden, occurring in 2018 and 2020. The requested person was due to serve 1 year and 4 months in Swedish prison.

Following his convictions, the requested person and his young family relocated to Tunisia, his country of origin. Whilst they were in Tunisia, he and his wife experienced mistreatment due to their beliefs. Consequently, the requested person and his family relocated to the UK in November 2021 and made a claim for asylum from Tunisia, during which time, the warrant was issued.

The defence challenged the request on the sole ground of the Article 8 rights of the requested person and his and extradition subsequently being disproportionate. Particular emphasis was placed on the requested person’s wife’s inability to cope without her husband, due to her diagnosis of complex PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder and other anxiety related disorders, developed following her mistreatment in Tunisia. Clinical psychologist, Dr Sarah Heke, prepared a detailed report and gave live evidence in relation to this. The defence also cited the physical health condition (cystic fibrosis) of the requested person’s son, and the care he provides to him.

In discharging the request on the Article 8 grounds, District Judge Sternberg, noted that the health of the wife and son of the requested person, which was a compelling factor, post-dated the Swedish Courts’ sentencing decisions. As such, the court were not able to conclude the sentencing court in this jurisdiction would likely impose a custodial sentence rather than a community-based sentence, which was deemed relevant to the proportionality exercise in this case (citing the judgment of Lord Judge in HH [§ 132]). Accordingly, the extradition of the requested person was disproportionate in the circumstances, and when balanced with the rights of the requested person’s family.

Katrina Walcott was instructed by Rosie Worster of Commons Law.