Alun Jones QC today represented Abu Hamza al-Masri in the High Court.
Click here to view the BBC news article.
02/07/12 – The Times, Alun Jones reported. See Alun’s profile for the full article.
Extradition Case Law Update – June 2011
Italy v. Merico (unreported) – 29th June 2011
In 1997, the Respondent (M) was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 6 years imprisonment. M served 2 years of her sentence before being released and leaving Italy for the UK. The District Judge refused to order her extradition on the basis that it would be oppressive due to the passage of time. The Italian Judicial Authority appealed the District Judge’s decision to discharge the Respondent.
HELD: Appeal dismissed. The District Judge was entitled to find that the passage of 12 years rendered the Respondent’s extradition oppressive. Taken together the fact that: the offences were committed a long time ago; M had been released 12 years ago having served 2 years imprisonment; had travelled and lived openly in the UK; had not committed any further offences and was a parent and caring for her terminally ill mother meant that in all the circumstances, extradition would be oppressive.
Halligen v. Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1584 (Admin) – 21st June 2011
HELD: Appeal dismissed. A letter, received by the Respondent from the Appellant declaring his intention to appeal the District Judge’s decision to order his extradition, did not amount to notice of appeal.
Rzeczkowski v. Provincial Court in Warsaw, Poland  EWHC 1698 (Admin) – 21st June 2011
In 1996, the Appellant (R) was convicted of attempted robbery and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. He was released on compassionate grounds in 1998. Following his release he was entitled to apply annually for his release to continue. If he applied successfully in three consecutive years, the release would become absolute. He failed to make the third application and moved to the UK.The District Judge did not accept that extradition would breach R’s Article 8 rights.
HELD: Appeal dismissed. This was a borderline case but notwithstanding the fact that: the Respondent took a very long time to pursue R; the offence was very old and that R had served 2 years of the sentence imposed, it was significant that R had chosen to absent himself from Poland and not behaved as a perfect citizen in the UK. The District Judge was right, in all the circumstances, to find that the very high threshold set in Norris had not been reached and extradition was compatible with Article 8 Convention rights.
Sitek v Circuit Court in Swidnica, Poland, 27 May 2011
The Administrative Court, in allowing the appellant’s appeal in part, held that the dual criminality requirement under s 64(3)(b) of the Extradition Act 2003 had not been satisfied in relation to two of the alleged offences. The offences concerned were said to be offences of acquiring or possessing criminal property. Whilst for two of the four relevant offences the description had given rise to an inference of knowledge or suspicion as required by ss 329 and 340 of the 2002 Act. In the case of the two remaining offences, it had not been possible to conclude that the conduct alleged included matters that had been capable of sustaining the necessary finding of knowledge or suspicion for the purposes of the relevant offence in English law (see paras 27, 31-32, 37 of judgment).
R. (on the application of Bingham) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, 11 May 2011
In an application to discharge, following numerous applications to extend time for removal the court held, in dismissing the application that the power to discharge an extraditee under the Extradition Act 2003 s.36(8) could not be exercised during the currency of a “required period”, as defined by s.36(3). The thrust of s.36(8) was directed at circumstances where, at the time of the application, the extraditing authority had no power to further detain the extraditee in the absence of an extension or agreed required period, or a reasonable excuse for a delay in extraditing, and had to justify the extraditee’s continuing detention (see para.26 of judgment).
R. (on the application of HH) v Westminster City Magistrates’ Court, 11 May 2011
The case concerns extradition request relating to a husband and wife (P and H), who have three children in this country for whom P was the principal carer. If the extraditions went ahead, the children would have to be cared for by social services which, it was argued would be a breach of Article 8. In dismissing the appeal, the court held that although the best interests of affected children were a primary consideration in extradition cases, they could not generally override the public interest in effective extradition procedures, ZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 4,  2 W.L.R. 148 considered. There had to be an exceptionally compelling feature giving rise to the gravest effects of interference with family life, Norris v United States  UKSC 9,  2 A.C. 487 applied. In the instant case, although both H and P’s extradition would gravely disrupt their family life, there was no feature specific to the family which constituted so pressing and powerful a consideration to justify the discharge of both parents or either of them on art.8 grounds (see paras 60,65 of judgement).