Navinder Singh Sarao Update: Sarao Fails to Postpone Extradition Hearing

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On 28 August 2015, District Judge Quentin Purdy, sitting in Westminster Magistrates’ Court, rejected the application by Mr Sarao’s legal team to delay his extradition hearing to a date after September 2015. A report is here. Previous posts are available here.

Mr Sarao’s lawyer submitted, inter alia, that more time was needed to obtain expert evidence about trading and how the market worked. In particular, it was contended that this evidence would help his legal team to address whether Mr Sarao, through his trading activity, made false representations.

District Judge Purdy rejected the submissions. In particular, he held that the expert evidence was of “no assistance to [the Westminster Magistrates’] court”. This is because Judge Purdy’s task, at the extradition hearing, is to determine whether the conduct giving rise to the US criminal charges would constitute criminal offences under UK law, and not to make a pronouncement on the facts of the case.

Mr Sarao’s hearing has been set for 25 September 2015. His bail, which was granted for the first time in July, has also been extended to this date.

Mr Sarao denies the charges against him.

Roman Polanski Extradition: Poland Receives Further Legal Documents Requested from US Authorities

Roman_Polanski_2011_2On 18 August 2015, it was reported that a Polish court had received the assistance that it requested from the United States, in connection with the extradition of the filmmaker Roman Polanski. Mr Polanski faces extradition to the US, for sentencing, in connection with a child sex conviction. A report is here.

1977 Sexual Assault Allegation

On 11 March 1977, Mr Polanski was arrested in Los Angeles, for the sexual assault of a 13 year old, during a photo shoot for French Vogue magazine. He was indicted on six counts of criminal behaviour, including rape.

As part of a plea bargain, Mr Polanski pleaded guilty to the charge of “unlawful sexual intercourse with a female under 18 years of age.” He served 42 days of the 90 day plea bargain, before being released.

Fearing that the judge presiding over his case would seek to impose a longer term of imprisonment, in 1978, Mr Polanski fled from the US to France, where he has lived for the majority of the time since.

2009 Switzerland Arrest

On 26 September 2009, Mr Polanski was arrested in Switzerland, at the request of US authorities. He was detained in custody for two months in Zurich, and then placed under house arrest.

On 12 July 2010, a Swiss court rejected the US request, and released Mr Polanski from custody.

2015 US Extradition Request

In late October 2014, Mr Polanski was questioned again, in relation to the US conviction, on a visit to Kraków, Poland, by prosecutors. He was released after prosecutors “deemed it not necessary to proceed with the arrest… in relation to the possible request [by US authorities] for his extradition”.

The US filed a further extradition request for Mr Polanski in January 2015.

According to Mr Polanski’s lawyer, on 8 May 2015, Judge Dariusz Mazur, sitting in the District Court in Kraków, requested further information from US authorities, in connection with the request, by 8 August 2015.

Judge Mazur then adjourned the extradition hearing until mid-September, and extended the deadline for receipt of the information requested from the US authorities.

18 August 2015: Legal Documents Received

On 18 August 2018, it was confirmed that Poland had received the legal documents it had requested from US authorities.

“The court is now looking into the documents and only after some time will it be able to assess whether it has received answers for all the queries addressed to the U.S. side,” a court spokeswoman said.

In the event that the court rules in favour of extradition, the case will be passed to the Minister of Justice, Cezary Grabarczyk, who will make the final decision on whether Mr Polanski’s extradition should take place.

An INTERPOL Red Notice, issued in 2005 at the request of US authorities, remains issued against Mr Polanski.

FIFA Corruption Investigation Update: Extradition of Nicolás Leoz from Paraguay to the United States Contested

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At an extradition hearing held on 24 August 2015, the lawyer for Nicolás Leoz, the former President of the South American football confederation (CONMEBOL), requested the dismissal of a US extradition request for Mr Leoz, on the basis of legal defects in the 1998 extradition treaty between the US and Paraguay. The report is here.

Extradition Request: 23 July 2015

Mr Leoz has been held under house arrest in Asunción, Paraguay, since 1 June 2015, following his indictment in the US on charges of racketeering, money laundering and bribery, in connection with the FIFA corruption scandal. Mr Leoz denies the charges.

Previous blogs on the FIFA investigation are available here.

On 23 July 2015, Paraguay’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that the US Embassy had sent an extradition request for Mr Leoz.

Extradition Hearing: 24 August 2015

It is not entirely clear on what grounds Ricardo Preda, the lawyer representing Mr Leoz, challenged the US extradition request for his client, at an extradition hearing held in Paraguay on 24 August 2015. However, it appears that it relates to the procedure underlying the US-Paraguay extradition treaty.

Speaking to reporters outside the Paraguayan court, Mr Preda stated: “The defence is saying that you cannot extradite somebody if the law did not lay out the rules of the game. The treaty does not establish clear procedures to follow. There is a legislative void.”

Judge Humberto Otazu said that he would take up to three days to rule on Mr Preda’s submissions. The judge’s decision is open to appeal.

1998 US-Paraguay Extradition Treaty

Under Article II of the US-Paraguay extradition treaty, an offence is an extraditable offence if it is punishable under the laws in both countries and carries a minimum penalty of one year in prison. Article VII sets out extradition procedures, encompassing the requirements for a request to be made in writing, and supporting documentation.

The treaty further sets out, inter alia, provisional arrest procedures (Article X), decision and surrender requirements (Article XI), rules on specialty (Article XV), simplified extradition procedures (Article XVI) and transit provisions (Article XVII).

Navinder Singh Sarao Update: Civil Proceedings Stayed for Four Months Pending Extradition and UK Bail Granted

720px-US-CFTC-Seal.svgOn 13 August 2015, it was reported that the civil action brought by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) against the British “flash crash” trader, Navinder Singh Sarao, has been put on hold whilst US prosecutors seek his extradition from the United Kingdom, to face related criminal charges.

A report is here. A previous blog is here.

On 12 August 2015, U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood, sitting in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, granted a stay on proceedings for four months, on the grounds of “the interests of justice”.

This followed a request by federal prosecutors to delay the exchange of evidence in the civil matter, in order to avoid damaging the criminal case.

Such requests in parallel criminal and civil cases are common, and usually granted, according to the report.

The criminal case is U.S. v. Sarao, 15-cr-00075, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). The CFTC case is U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Nav Sarao Futures Ltd., 15-cv-03398.

13 August 2015 Bail Granted

On 13 August 2015, Navinder Singh Sarao was granted bail by District Judge Purdy, sitting at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and released from Wandsworth Prison, where he was being detained. As a condition, he must stay within the bounds of the M25 motorway. The amount of his bail security was reduced from £5m to £50,000. A report is here.

During the hearing, it was revealed that Mr Sarao has funds of more than £30m, including £25.5m held in Switzerland and £5m controlled by his lawyers in the US, held in an escrow.

Lawyers for Mr Sarao contended that Mr Sarao had to be released from prison, in order to present evidence to an expert on complex trading activities.

Mr Sarao’s full extradition hearing is scheduled for 24 and 25 September 2015.

Extradition of Suspected Murderer of Jennifer Dornan a Possibility

Co_DonegalOn 10 August 2015, it was reported that the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), is considering seeking the extradition of a man suspected of murdering Jennifer Dornan in her home, from Mountjoy Prison, in the Republic of Ireland. A report is here.

On 2 August 2015, Ms Dornan was stabbed in her home in Belfast, which was subsequently set ablaze. It is believed that the fire was a bid to destroy the evidence of her murder.

On 7 August 2015, a 37-year-old man was detained by gardaí in County Donegal, on an unrelated matter. He is now believed to be the primary suspect in the murder, and is currently being detained in Mountjoy Prison, in Dublin.

Following the arrest, a PSNI spokesman stated: “There are a number of options we will now be considering to progress this investigation and seeking an extradition order is one of these options.”

Another man has been arrested in Belfast, on suspicion of withholding information.

General Karenzi Karake Update: UK Free Spy Chief

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On 10 August 2015, Senior District Judge Riddle dismissed the case against General Karenzi Karake, whose extradition from the United Kingdom was sought by Spain, for war crimes committed against Spanish nationals in Rwanda in the 1990s. A report is here. A previous blog is here.

 

CPS Statement  

Following a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) stated: “This was a complex case and we have worked swiftly to consider the UK law against the conduct alleged by the Spanish authorities in the European Arrest Warrant.”

“After careful consideration we do not believe an extradition offence can be established under UK law. The main reason is that the relevant laws on the conduct alleged in this case do not cover the acts of non-UK nationals or residents abroad.”

“We felt it important to bring our findings to the attention of the District Judge as soon as possible in order to allow him to make a decision ahead of the full hearing scheduled for September.”

Reported Legal Analysis

No judgment is available, and the legal arguments advanced by the CPS, and General Karake’s defence team, are not entirely clear.

As General Karake was arrested under a European Arrest Warrant, there are 32 offences for which dual criminality would not have to be demonstrated. However, war crimes are not included in this list.

It appears that the District Judge Riddle concluded that General Karake could not be charged for war crimes committed in another country, under UK law, unlike in Spain, where the principle of universal jurisdiction operates.

Under Article 23.4 of the Judicial Power Organization Act No 6/1985 of 1 July (Judicial Power Organization Act), Spanish courts may indict those it believes have committed crimes, including genocide, terrorism, and war crimes, in another country.

The UK does, in fact, prosecute certain offences under the principle of universal jurisdiction, largely through the Geneva Conventions Act 1957, Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the International Criminal Court Act 2001. However, it rarely exercises this power, and consent of the Attorney General is required for such prosecution to be brought.

General Karake was permitted to fly back to Rwanda, within 48 hours of the judgment being issued.

Relevant Legislation

Article 23.4 of the Judicial Power Organization Act states (original formulation) states:

“4. Spanish jurisdiction shall also apply to acts committed by Spaniards or foreigners outside the national territory when those acts are classified as one of the following offences under Spanish criminal law:

  • Genocide
  • Terrorism

(g) Any other crime which should be prosecuted in Spain pursuant to international treaties or conventions.”

Lauri Love Fears Fair Trial Rights Will Be Denied if Extradited to the US

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On 9 August 2015, it was reported that Lauri Love, who faces extradition to the United States to face hacking charges, fears that he will be denied a fair trial in the country. The report is here. A previous blog is here.

Mr Love, in his first official statement after his re-arrest on 15 July 2015, stated: “I would say my prospects of due process in America are essentially zero, and the prospect of extradition is tantamount to a punishment worse than any punishment from the UK justice system,”

“My parents and me are quite stressed. I have had time to acclimatise. My dad has had a heart condition and my mum is a natural worrier.”

He added, “The charges should be heard [in the UK]… where 12 of my peers should be found to try me.”

Mr Love’s full extradition hearing is expected at some point in December 2015, according to the report.