Successful appeal against extradition to Bulgaria
Our client was arrested in October 2016 on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by Bulgaria to serve a sentence of four and a half years for causing death by dangerous driving and possession of explosives.
His extradition was ordered at Westminster Magistrates Court and he was granted permission to appeal under s20 of the Extradition Act 2003 on the basis that the District Judge was wrong to order his extradition as she made an error in concluding that he deliberately absented himself from the trial (s20(3) EA 2003) and finding that he would be entitled to a retrial in compliance with s20(5) and (8) of the EA 2003.
Knowles J at the High Court agreed with our submissions in respect of deficiencies within the EAW and that further information should have been requested regarding retrial rights by the District Judge at the hearing at Westminster. In his preliminary judgement he allowed the Judicial Authority a short period of time to supply information it considered necessary in order to prove to the criminal standard that if the Appellant is returned to Bulgaria he will receive a re-trial or a review amounting to a re-trial with the procedural rights specified in s 20(8) of the EA 2003. Further information was requested but did not support the Judicial Authority and they conceded the s20 argument leading to the discharge and release of our client.
This case offers important guidance on whether a requested person convicted in absentia would be entitled to a retrial that complies with s20(5) and (8) of the Extradition Act 2003.
Chris Stevens was the solicitor dealing with this case and he instructed Myles Grandison at Temple Garden Chambers.