Yesterday, Mr Trevor Martin Horsley was released from a pretrial detention centre in Russia. His lawyer reported that he was released and was scheduled to fly back to the UK in a matter of hours. His release was ordered after Interpol sent documents from the UAE confirming that Mr Horsley’s criminal charges had been dropped and that the information on a search for him was flawed.
Scottish prosecutors have confirmed that could use the Treason Felony Act 1848 to argue that Professor Ponsatí should be extradited to Spain to face charges of rebellion in connection with the Catalan Independence referendum of 2017. Under the principle of dual-criminality, Professor Ponsatí cannot be extradited to Spain, unless Scottish prosecutors can prove that the offences she is accused of would constitute crimes in Scotland or are included with the Framework List of offences for the European Arrest Warrant. Under the 1848 Act, the offence of “levying war in the realm” could mean that there is an equivalent crime in Scotland to the rebellion charges she faces in Spain.
The next procedural hearing in the case is scheduled for the 24th July and the full hearing is due to begin on the 30th July.
Ex-Forest Green Rovers chairman, Trevor Horsley was arrested last week when he arrived in Russia to watch a World Cup match. He is wanted in Dubai on fraud charges. Russian authorities arrested Mr Horsley on an INTERPOL Red Notice.
It is believed that the alleged fraud took place in the UAE in 2011. Mr Horsley’s lawyer has confirmed that he had already paid a fine in relation to the fraud, after finding out about legal action against him, when he flew through Qatar, in 2013.
It is believed that he is being held in a pre-trial detention centre. His family back in the UK, have growing fears for his health as he is suffering from lung cancer.
Yesterday, the Indian foreign ministry confirmed that they have made a formal request to Malaysia for the extradition of Zakir Naik.
Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar has stated:
“At this stage, our request is under the active consideration of the Malaysian side. Our High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur is in touch with Malaysian authorities.”
Mr Naik is wanted by Indian authorities over allegations of money laundering and spreading extremism including giving speeches which were cited as a reason for a terrorist attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which killed 22 people. India’s National Investigation Agency is also investigating Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation, over allegations of money laundering.
Today, the internet entrepreneur known as Kim Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz, and three of his ex-colleagues lost their appeal against an order of a New Zealand court to extradite them to the US. New Zealand’s Court of Appeal upheld earlier court rulings and decided that the three men should be handed over to US authorities. Since that decision, Kim Dotcom’s lawyer has stated that they will be looking to file an appeal with the Supreme Court of New Zealand.
Today’s Court of Appeal decision is the latest decision in the case, which began in 2012 when US authorities shut down Kim Dotcom’s website Megaupload. The authorities then filed charges of conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering against the men.
Lawyers for Kim Dotcom have argued that he cannot be held responsible for the fact that users chose to use his website for illegal purposes. He also argues that the case should be held in a civil not criminal court. Kim Dotcom’s lawyers maintain that he never lived in, visited, or owned a company in the US.
Yesterday a judge in Ecuador ordered that former President, Rafael Correa, be jailed after failing to appear in court in connection with a probe into the kidnapping of an opposition lawmaker. The judge issued an order for Mr Correa’s arrest and extradition from Belgium, where he currently resides with his Belgian wife and children.
Last month, Ecuador’s highest court ordered that Mr Correa be included in the investigation into the failed kidnapping of Mr Fernando Balda in Bogota, Colombia in 2012. Mr Correa had been ordered to appear in Quito, Ecuador, every 15 days from early June to comply with the probe. Yesterday Mr Correa dismissed this requirement as being “impossible to fulfil.” Instead, he appeared, on Monday, at the Ecuadorean consulate. However, a judge had already warned that would not meet the court’s demand.
Mr Correa is refusing to consent to his extradition on the basis that he believes it is founded on a political vendetta and “judicial persecution.”
The UK has been accused of failing in its international obligations after refusing to extradite Mr Harris Binotti to Myanmar where he is accused of murdering his work colleague in an apartment in Yangon. The UK Home Office has explained that it has refused to extradite Mr Binotti because the UK does not have an extradition treaty with Myanmar and Mr Binotti would face a real risk of having his human rights breached if the extradition were to take place.
In response to the Home Office decision, Zar Li Aye, an adviser for the International Commission of Jurists, said that Burmese law included an obligation on judicial authorities to extradite or prosecute and therefore the obligation fell to British authorities to prosecute Mr Binotti in the UK. Consequently, according to Mr Aye, by not prosecuting Mr Binotti the UK is allowing a jurisdictional gap.
Mr Binotti, originally from Dumfries in Scotland, remains subject to an INTERPOL Red Notice which allows law enforcement authorities on the database to arrest him.
This week the CJEU Advocate General, Evgeni Tanchev, issued an opinion which concluded that the Irish High Court was correct to postpone the extradition of Artur Celmer to Poland. The Irish High Court postponed the extradition due to concerns about the Polish government’s interference with the judiciary. Mr Tanchev also pointed out that this did not mean that all Polish extradition requests should be rejected and that in this case it would be for the Irish court to establish all the facts to see if Mr Celmer was indeed able to have a fair trial.
This opinion was issued in light of the European Union’s recent launching of an Article 7 case against Poland for what the European Commission calls the “systematic” undermining of the Polish judiciary and the rule of law. In December last year, under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, the European Commission asked the EU Council of Ministers to explore if the changes to the Polish justice system meant there was a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law by Poland.
Mr Tanchev explained that European Arrest Warrants must not be executed if there was a real risk of a “flagrant denial of justice” due to any deficiencies in the justice system of the issuing Member State. He added that there would also have to be clear evidence that the person being extradited was exposed to such a risk. To postpone an extradition there needs to be a real risk of a flagrant denial of justice. Establishing a risk to the right to a fair trial is not enough because the right to a fair trial could be subject to limitations, so long as those limitations respected the essence of that right. Therefore, the executing judicial authority was required to postpone the execution of an arrest warrant only if there was a real risk of a breach of the essence of the right to a fair trial.
Alexander Vinnik has been imprisoned in northern Greece since last summer. He was originally arrested after the US requested his extradition to face charges of laundering more than $4 billion on a bitcoin trading platform. This week France joined Russia and the US who are already competing to have Vinnik extradited. French authorities would like Vinnik extradited so he can face cybercrime, money-laundering and extortion charges. The Supreme Court of Greece has already ruled in favour of extraditing him to the United States, but another lower Greek court ruled for his extradition to Russia. The case is ongoing, but it will be the Greek Justice Minister who has the final word on Vinnik’s extradition.
This week the Irish Supreme Court rejected the appeal of Mr Gary Davis who sought to prevent his extradition to the US to face a trial on charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to commit computer hacking and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The US alleges that Mr Davis was an administrator on the Dark Web drug website, Silk Road. If he is convicted in the US, he could receive a sentence of life imprisonment.
Mr Davis appealed to the Irish Supreme Court and urged the judges to refuse the request to extradite him on grounds including that he suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome.
Yesterday the Supreme Court rejected his appeal, the five judges explained that they were satisfied that Mr Davis had not established that there was a real risk that his fundamental rights would be infringed if extradited to the US.
The Irish Supreme Court had been asked to consider questions of general public importance. These included:
1. In the context of an extradition hearing, is the State constitutionally obliged to protect vulnerable persons suffering from mental illness and in what circumstances under that duty, should an extradition request be refused?
2. Is Mr Davis’s Asperger’s syndrome so severe that he should not be extradited to the US on the basis that he would suffer mental harm as a result of being imprisoned and having very little contact with his family?
The Irish Supreme Court concluded that there is a constitutional obligation on the State to protect all persons in the context of an extradition application, and not just those suffering from mental illnesses. However, it is for the person whose extradition is sought to establish that there are substantive grounds for believing that if extradited there is a real risk of being subjected to degrading behaviour in breach of Article 3 ECHR. Having reviewed all the evidence, the Supreme Court found that Mr Davis had not demonstrated such a risk. Additionally, the court added that this case was to be distinguished from the UK Supreme Court decision in the Lauri Love case because in Mr Love’s case the evidence of his Asperger’ Syndrome was much stronger regarding the effect on his mental health and the risk of suicide if extradited. The Irish Supreme Court contrasted this to Mr Davis’s case where there had been an absence of evidence that Mr Davis had undergone treatment or counselling for depression or anxiety. He had also not seen a specialist for therapy for his Asperger’s Syndrome.
After handing down their decision, the Irish Supreme Court granted Mr Davis’ lawyers a 48-hour stay on his surrender to allow his lawyers advise him on the judgement and to consider a possible referral of the case to the European Court of Human Rights.