Croatia’s Constitutional Court halts extradition of Nurettin Oral to Turkey

Croatia’s Constitutional Court has halted the extradition of Nurettin Oral to Turkey, where he is charged with offences arising from his membership of the Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK).  The Court determined that the case’s complexity required further examination of Mr Oral’s arguments.

Mr Oral argues that Croatia’s Supreme Court incorrectly found his refugee status in Switzerland to not be a decisive factor, given what he says is Croatia’s overriding obligation under international treaties to recognise that status. He also argues that Turkey’s charges against him are political, that his right to a fair trial would be violated, and that the possible sentence he faces is not proportional to the acts he is charged with.

Myanmar requests extradition of 1,300 Rohingya it suspects of attacks on government

Myanmar is reported to have asked Bangladesh to extradite over 1300 Rohingya Muslims whom it suspects of having participated in attacks on government border posts in October 2016. In response to the attacks, Myanmar’s government initiated a wide-scale crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, which displaced over 600,000 people and has drawn criticism from the international community.

Malarz v Regional Court of Opole, Poland – Appeal against extradition from UK dismissed

EAW – England and Wales – Poland – Appeal – Appeal dismissed – Abuse of process – Article 8 ECHR – Validity of EAW

Wojciech Malarz appealed against his extradition from the UK to Poland on a conviction EAW (“the third EAW”), where he is wanted to serve a sentence of 14 months’ imprisonment for assault. The Administrative Court dismissed his appeal, in Malarz v Regional Court of Opole, Poland [2018] EWHC 28 (Admin).

Two previous EAWs issued by Poland in respect of the assault and a separate conviction for unlawful assembly had already been discharged by the UK courts.

Abuse of process

The Court dismissed the appellant’s argument that the third EAW was an abuse of process, which he based on the fact that Poland had not stated the difference between the third and the unsuccessful first EAW concerning his assault conviction. The Court found that although it was unfortunate that no explanation was provided sooner, this was far from being cogent evidence that the judicial authority had sought to subvert or impugn the integrity of the Extradition Act 2003 or the EAW regime.

The Court also noted that an inconsistency in the third EAW stating two different limitation periods, although bordering on incompetent, did not change the fact that it was a warrant in proper form and substance on which the first instance judge was bound to act.

Article 8 ECHR

The Court acknowledged a failure by the CPS to properly oversee the appellant’s case, including with respect to the above inconsistency in stated limitation periods, leading to delays and a confounded expectation on the appellant’s part that he would not be extradited. However, although these factors weighed against the proportionality of extradition, it found that neither they nor the appellant’s developed family life in the UK outweighed the public interest in his extradition.

The Court noted that this was not the only possibly view under the Polish Judicial Authorities v Celinski test, but that the first instance judge was not wrong to take it.

Validity of the EAW

Although an earlier EAW in respect of the appellant’s assault conviction in Poland had been discharged by the UK courts, the Court found that the amended third EAW was substantively different and therefore valid. In support of this finding, it also noted that the appellant was well aware that Poland intended to press for his extradition under the third EAW.

US asks France to extradite man accused of facilitating 9/11 terror attacks

The US has asked France to extradite Christian Ganczarski, a German man accused by the US of providing crucial support to Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed before the 9/11 terror attacks. He is currently imprisoned in France, having served 15 years of an 18 year prison sentence for his involvement in a deadly attack on a Tunisian synagogue in 2002 that led to the deaths of 21 people.

India granted leave to appeal in unsuccessful UK extradition request for Sanjeev Chawla

India has been granted leave to appeal its unsuccessful UK extradition request for Sanjeev Kumar Chawla, a bookmaker wanted on suspicion of match fixing during South Africa’s tour of India in 2000.

The first instance court found that there were strong grounds for believing that Mr Chawla’s human rights would be violated if he was extradited to India “due to overcrowding, lack of medical provision, and risk of being subjected to torture and violence from other inmates or prison staff” in the Tihar prison complex where he would be held. The Court said that “the monitoring systems which exist in India are not effective in practice” and noted that there is also no independent international monitoring of its prisons.

Acting on India’s behalf, the Crown Prosecution Service argues in its appeal that the Court failed to take assurances from India’s government on the conditions in Tihar jail into account.

France seeks extradition of businessman in illegal financing of Sarkozy campaign investigation

French businessman Alexandre Djourhi is currently on bail in the UK, where he was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant issued by France in December, and awaiting his extradition hearing on 17 April. Mr Djourhi is wanted by French police for questioning as part of an inquiry into the alleged illegal financing of former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s first presidential bid in 2007.

French authorities have been investigating suggestions that Libya’s former President Muammar Gaddafi and his family helped to finance Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign, including through the purchase of a villa in south-east France for several times its market value. The property, said to have been owned by Djourhi, was bought for €10m by Libyan sovereign wealth fund the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio, and French authorities want to determine whether the money was ultimately transferred to Sarkozy’s campaign.

Turkey refuses to extradite anyone to the US until it gets Fethullah Gulen

Turkey’s President has refused to allow any further US extradition requests until the US extradites Turkish Cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is wanted by Turkey for allegedly masterminding the failed July 2016 coup.

Speaking at a conference, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused the US of having “made up excuses from thin air” for not extraditing the 76-year-old cleric. US officials have repeatedly said that their courts require sufficient evidence of Gulen’s involvement in the coup, which he has denied, before they can agree to his extradition.