EXTRADITION

A district judge had not erred in ordering the extradition of a requested person to Poland to serve a sentence of imprisonment imposed following a conviction in his absence. Although the warrant did not indicate that the requested person had been summonsed to attend the trial, there was sufficient evidence that he had been, and the district judge had been entitled to conclude that he had deliberately absented himself.

[2017] EWHC 2675 (Admin)

Given that upholding an extradition order against a mother who was the sole carer of two young children would result either in the children being removed from her custody by the local authority, or their being transferred to a Polish prison alongside her, that was a disproportionate interference with the ECHR art.8 rights of all three individuals.

The extradition of a UK national to Germany, to face trial for offences relating to his failure as an employer to pay employee social welfare contributions, was not barred under the Extradition Act 2003 s.12. The allegations were not encompassed within an earlier prosecution in Germany for tax-related offences so as to violate the double jeopardy principle.

[2017] EWHC 2602 (Admin)

There was no real risk that a requested person’s extradition to Brazil to face trial for two offences of murder would breach his rights under ECHR art.3 or art.6.

[2017] EWHC 2588 (Admin)

Although an English translation of a European arrest warrant lacked the list of specific offences for which the appellant had been convicted, there had been no abuse of process in ordering his extradition as the summary of his offending behaviour had been sufficient. The fact that both warrants wrongly stated that the appellant had been convicted and sentenced in relation to nine, rather than eight offences, did not render the warrant invalid, where the French judicial authority had provided information that stated the correct position.

A requested person’s appeal against extradition to Poland was allowed on the basis of new information which had not been available at the extradition hearing. The balance required by Poland v Celinski [2015] EWHC 1274 (Admin) would have resulted in a different outcome if the new evidence had been available.

[2017] EWHC 2723 (Admin)

A European arrest warrant issued in Spain was pronounced valid even though it lacked details of the date and place of the alleged offence and was vague as to whether the requested person was wanted for prosecution. Details of the allegation had been received in a supplemental document shortly after the requested person’s arrest, so that the requirements of the Extradition Act 2003 s.2(4) were met under the principle in Alexander v France [2017] EWHC 1392 (Admin). The vague wording was a fault with the translation, not with the original text of the warrant.

The extradition of a Czech Republic national who had been convicted of serious fraud offences in his absence was not unjust or oppressive, nor did it constitute an interference with his ECHR art.8 rights or those of his partner, notwithstanding the nine-year delay between the date of sentence and certification of the European arrest warrant. The district judge had correctly identified the factors favouring and militating against extradition.

[2017] EWHC 2360 (Admin)

In the UK’s first extradition request from Paraguayan authorities, Paraguay’s human rights issues did not cast doubt on whether they would deliver on their assurances that two individuals that had allegedly committed money-laundering would be detained in prison conditions compliant with the ECHR art.3. The authorities had been open and helpful throughout the process and their assurances had been endorsed at every level in government and their administration.

[2017] EWHC 2300 (Admin)

An accusation European arrest warrant was invalid for the purposes of the Extradition Act 2003 s.2 where it did not make clear how many offences of theft the appellant had allegedly committed, and the further information provided by the requesting state did not match the details of the warrant.

Where there were concurrent extradition and family proceedings in cases involving requested persons who had children who would be adversely impacted by their surrender to custody, it should be the exception, not the norm, for the extradition proceedings to await the outcome of the family proceedings. It would also be very rare for the Official Solicitor to intervene in extradition cases on behalf of a child.

[2017] EWHC 1978 (Admin)

A person whose extradition had been requested by the Belgian authorities failed to prove that a longstanding problem of strikes in Belgian prisons would lead to a real risk of a violation of his rights under ECHR art.3 in the event of his extradition. There was no reason to doubt the Belgian government’s statement that there had been no strikes adversely affecting the inmates’ rights in the prison in which it was proposed the requested person be held, and therefore nothing to displace the presumption that Belgium would comply with its international obligations.

[2017] EWHC 1981 (Admin)

Five individuals could not be extradited to Rwanda to face charges arising from the 1994 genocide. There was a real risk of a flagrant denial of justice, in violation of their ECHR art.6 right to a fair trial, because even if the rest of the Rwandan criminal justice system had been adequate, arrangements for their defence in Rwandan trials were clearly inadequate to protect against the concerns regarding judicial independence and the protection and availability of defence witnesses.

[2017] EWHC 1912 (Admin)

Where three requested persons had resisted extradition on the basis of unsatisfactory prison conditions in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian judicial authorities had provided sufficient information to satisfy the court that they would uphold their assurances that the requested persons would be kept in conditions that complied with international standards.

The secretary of state had been entitled to conclude that extraditing a requested person to Kenya to face charges of child stealing would not violate ECHR art.3. There was no evidence of bad faith on the part of the Kenyan government, and conditions in the prison in which the requested person would be held on remand were not such as to give rise to a risk of treatment contrary to art.3.

[2017] EWHC 1728 (Admin)

A district judge had not erred in concluding pursuant to the Extradition Act 2003 s.20 that a requested person who had been convicted of offences in his absence had deliberately absented himself from his trial. She had been entitled to conclude, in the circumstances, that the requested person had gone to considerable lengths to avoid the service of proceedings and that his conduct amounted to a manifest lack of diligence.

[2017] EWHC 1892 (Admin)

It was open to a requesting judicial authority to add missing information to a deficient European arrest warrant so as to establish the validity of the warrant.

[2017] EWHC 1392 (Admin)

In considering whether an offence on a European arrest warrant seeking the return of a requested person to Austria met the requirements of dual criminality the court had to look at the alleged conduct rather than at the term used to name the offence. In the instant case the offence of slander equated to the UK offence of perverting the course of public justice.

In two joined cases where requested persons were resisting extradition on the basis of unsatisfactory prison conditions in Belgium, the court made a request for the Belgian judicial authorities to provide information as to the conditions in which the requested persons would be held.

[2017] EWHC 1328 (Admin)

A European arrest warrant which sufficiently particularised offences was valid for the purposes of the Extradition Act 2003 s.2 The court was entitled to take the information provided on the warrant at face value and it was not its role, given the principle of mutual respect, to hinder extradition requests.

In the circumstances, the passage of time since the commission of a robbery offence and the requested person’s medical condition took the consequences of his extradition beyond hardship and into the realms of oppression.

It was appropriate to order an appellant’s extradition in relation to only one offence contained in a warrant because there was a mechanism in place in Poland to give effect to speciality, so long as the facts of an individual case were communicated to the Polish authorities. Where extradition was ordered in relation to one, but not all offences contained in a warrant, the Crown Prosecution Service should specifically communicate that to the Polish authorities.

A district judge had not been wrong to find that, pursuant to the Extradition Act 2003 s.12A, the sole reason why a decision had not been taken to try a requested person in Spain for drug trafficking was his absence from Spain.

[2017] EWHC 1161 (Admin)

A British national’s extradition to Turkey would not be compatible with ECHR art.3 and would be oppressive. The individual, a mixed-race Christian homosexual, would be placed in an LGBT unit, the conditions at which were assessed as satisfying the definition of inhuman and degrading circumstances. Further, the conditions were such as to exacerbate his significant mental health problems and he would be at a high risk of suicide.

[2017] EWHC 952 (Admin)

The extradition of a Polish man to his native country so that he could serve a short sentence would amount to a disproportionate interference with his rights and those of his family under ECHR art.8. Significantly, his wife was an alcoholic and separation from her husband was likely to cause a marked deterioration in her condition.

[2017] EWHC 995 (Admin)

Although there had been a lengthy unexplained delay in bringing criminal proceedings against an individual for an alleged crime of forgery in 2001, the public interest in honouring the UK’s extradition obligations outweighed his right to family life in the UK, and extradition would not be unjust or oppressive despite the passage of time.

The court considered whether assurances from the Bulgarian authorities about the conditions in which prisoners might be held in Bulgarian prisons following their extradition from the UK to Bulgaria pursuant to European arrest warrants were sufficient to show that there was not a real risk of a breach of ECHR art.3.

[2017] EWHC 827 (Admin)

A failure to specify at the time of sentence the number of days an offender had spent in detention in Germany prior to his extradition to the UK meant that he was not entitled to credit for time served in respect of those days. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.243(2) provided that the calculation of time served under s.240ZA only applied to days spent in detention abroad which had been specified in open court.

[2017] EWHC 658 (Admin)

It was arguable that there was a continuing duty on judicial authorities issuing European arrest warrants to review the proportionality of extradition throughout the proceedings.

[2017] EWHC 571 (Admin)

An individual’s extradition to Turkey to face trial for a drugs offence would not breach ECHR art.6. There was no evidence that the emergency laws enacted by Turkey following the attempted coup d’etat there applied to the instant offence, and in any event Turkey had provided assurances that his ECHR rights would be guaranteed.

It was not inherently and necessarily unfair, so as to constitute an abuse of process, for an international criminal to face prosecution in more than one state. If, on a proper analysis of the facts, there was no double criminality, and no agreement between the states concerned that there should be one prosecution in relation to all the criminality, then there was no reason in principle to view a second prosecution, by a different state, as necessarily unfair.

[2017] EWHC 513 (Admin)

In cases concerning extradition to Germany, in determining whether extradition was barred by reason of absence of a decision to try, the German public prosecutor’s informal decision to issue an indictment constituted a decision to try. It was incorrect to say that under the German Code of Criminal Procedure the decision was taken only when the competent court decided there were sufficient grounds to open main proceedings against the indicted accused.

[2017] EWHC 475 (Admin)

Statements in a European arrest warrant that measures were to be taken to protect the criminal investigation, and that the warrant pertained to the seizure of property which might be required as evidence, did not show that it had been issued for the purposes of investigation rather than prosecution. An investigation could continue despite a decision to prosecute having been made.

[2017] EWHC 345 (Admin)

Although an individual had been a victim of trafficking he had been a fugitive facing a robbery charge when he left Lithuania. Although he developed mental health problems there was no suggestion he was unable to resist the impulse to commit suicide. It was not unjust or oppressive to extradite him.

[2017] EWHC 336 (Admin)

Where there was insufficient data in a European arrest warrant to convert a foreign reading of alcohol in an individual’s blood to the English law equivalent, the UK certifying authority should provide that information instead of the judge performing the calculation. Although, at its highest, the doctrine of judicial notice suggested there was a discretion to receive further information to help establish a notorious fact, it did not extend to calculating blood viscosity as that was not a notorious fact.

[2017] EWHC 302 (Admin)

In an extradition case involving a requested person who had children, the judge, whether at first instance or on appeal, had to pay particular attention to the interests of the children. In appropriate cases, that could only be properly achieved by the production of fresh evidence about and/or from the children.

[2017] EWHC 331 (Admin)

A district judge’s decision to order an alleged offender’s extradition to Hungary was upheld. The European arrest warrant complied with the Extradition Act 2003 s.2; the appellant had suffered no unfair prejudice in consequence of the extradition proceedings and, as a consequence of the judge’s finding that the appellant was a fugitive, her extradition was proportionate.

[2017] EWHC 229 (Admin)

The public interest in extradition was outweighed by other factors in the case of a 55-year-old man who was in poor health and who was required to return to Poland to serve a custodial term for non-payment of a £600 compensation order. It was possible that the man had been unaware of the requirement to pay compensation, and it would be disproportionate to extradite him given that the sum was small, he could not have paid it at the relevant time, and was only able to pay it now because of his employment in the UK.

[2017] EWHC 168 (Admin)

In considering whether passage of time was a bar to extradition under the Extradition Act 2003 s.14, findings of oppression as a result of delay had, in principle, to be considered separately for each offence in a warrant or warrants. However, if it was not oppressive to extradite a person for an offence or offences, the impact of extraditing him for other offending or convictions was likely to be diminished.

[2017] EWHC 191 (Admin)

An individual had been “convicted” for the purposes of the Extradition Act 2003 s.2 where their detention in a secure hospital had been ordered after criminal proceedings against them were discontinued on account of their mental illness.

[2017] EWHC 167 (Admin)

When deciding whether extradition would be disproportionate, judges were obliged to consider whether the foreign authority could take measures that would be less coercive than extradition. An interview with the accused through mutual legal assistance could not amount to a less coercive measure under the Extradition Act 2003 s.21A(3)(c).

[2017] EWHC 156 (Admin)

A district judge, having considered the Extradition Act 2003 s.21A, had been entitled to conclude that it would not be disproportionate to extradite an individual accused of a fraud offence. Notwithstanding that under domestic sentencing guidelines the offence fell into the lower category of harm, many factors indicating lesser culpability were absent and there were aggravating factors.

The court upheld an extradition order in respect of a Polish national convicted of involvement in drug trafficking. Although he suffered from a chronic rheumatologic disease, there was evidence that his medication would be available in Poland and that the Polish court could order his release from prison if the circumstances warranted it.

An appeal against an extradition order was allowed where the court could not be satisfied that the prosecution of the appellant in Latvia was not an abuse of process.

An offence in a Polish European arrest warrant of affronting a police officer with insults was not an extradition offence and did not amount to an offence under the Public Order Act 1986 s.5.

[2017] EWHC 1615 (Admin)

An applicant who had escaped from lawful custody in Ireland and whose extradition had been ordered under a European Arrest Warrant was granted an adjournment of his renewed application to appeal in order to obtain new legal representation. His existing solicitors had only said the previous day that they were coming off the record, there were three-and-a-half years of his sentence outstanding and he would be eligible for parole in about two weeks.

Where a European arrest warrant clearly stated that the requested person was to be surrendered in order to face criminal prosecution, and the particulars supported that assertion, there was no need for a judge, when asked to make an extradition order, to seek further information on the issue of whether there had been a decision to charge or try within the meaning of the Extradition Act 2003 s.12A.

[2017] EWHC 47 (Admin)

For the purposes of the Extradition Act 2003, a charge was not disposed of when it had led to a conviction in a magistrates’ court, but there was an outstanding appeal against conviction.

[2017] EWHC 48 (Admin)

Where European arrest warrants were based on aggregate sentences imposed under the Polish penal code on offenders who had re-offended before judgment was pronounced on an earlier offence, there was no breach of the principle of double jeopardy because the calculation of the aggregate sentences recognised and gave credit for sentences which had already been served in full.

[2017] EWHC 311 (Admin)

A district judge had been entitled to conclude that a requested person would be entitled to a retrial on his return to Albania pursuant to the Extradition Act 2003 s.85. The ability of an Albanian court to decline to retry an extradited person on the basis that he had known about the original criminal proceedings against him and deliberately absented himself did not amount to a deprivation of his ECHR art.6 rights.

[2016] EWHC 3288 (Admin)