We previously reported that Turkish politician Salih Muslim had been arrested in the Czech Republic on an Interpol Red Notice issued by Turkey (see previous blog). A Czech court has now ruled that he should be released. Turkey intends to make a formal request for his extradition, and accuses him of disrupting the state and aggravated murder. He was formerly co-chairman of the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party, which Turkey accuses of being a terrorist organisation.
Turkey is seeking the extradition of Salih Muslim from the Czech Republic, where he was arrested on an Interpol Red Notice. He is the former co-chairman of the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party, which Turkey accuses of being a terrorist organisation linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which itself is listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU.
Germany has declined an extradition request from the UK for four traders at Deutsche Bank AG who are charged in the UK with rigging the Euribor interest rate benchmark. The decision came after a German court ruled that the alleged crimes had taken place too far in the past to be tried.
However, the traders still face arrest warrants in other EU countries such as France and Italy, and the UK could also choose to pursue them through Interpol after it leaves the EU.
Anna Gabriel, a leader of the Catalan separatist movement in Spain, has fled to Switzerland before she was due to appear at Spain’s Supreme Court as part of an ongoing investigation into sedition, rebellion, and misuse of public funds by former Catalan public officials.
The Supreme Court has yet to make a decision on whether to request her extradition from Switzerland, but in the event that it does Gabriel is likely to argue that the request is “predominantly political”, a defence against extradition under Swiss law. She has said that she is “being prosecuted due to [her] political activities”.
Potentially making matters more difficult for Spain, spokespeople from Gabriel’s political party, the Popular Unity Candidacy, have said that she will request political asylum in Switzerland if the Supreme Court seeks to have her extradited.
Singapore has agreed to the UK’s request for an assurance that, if extradited to Singapore, Canadian David James Roach would not be sentenced to corporal punishment. Singapore is seeking the extradition of Mr Roach on charges of robbery and money laundering, after he allegedly stole $30,000 from a branch of Standard Chartered in an unarmed robbery. The charges carry possible penalties of up to 10 years in jail and at least six strokes of the cane for the robbery charge.
He originally fled to Thailand, where he was arrested, but Thailand refused Singapore’s extradition request on the basis that the countries have no extradition treaty between them. He was sentenced to 14 months in jail in Thailand, after which he sought to return to Canada but was arrested at Heathrow airport in the UK.
The US has withdrawn its request that the UK extradite Lauri Love, who is charged by the US with hacking into several government agencies and stealing large amounts of data in 2012 and 2013. However, the US agreed with the UK High Court’s recent finding that extradition would be oppressive to Mr Love’s mental and physical health (see previous blog).
Mr Love still faces prosecution in the UK, but with a substantially lower sentence if found guilty.
Sergey Medvedev, a Russian man accused by the United States of founding online criminal network Infraud Organisation, has been arrested in Thailand and is facing extradition to the US. Infraud Organisation is said to have facilitated identity theft and fraud, allowing its members to trade financial information such as stolen credit card details. The US has stated that Infraud cost victims £380m between its founding in October 2010 and being shut down this month.
An official from Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division, Nuthapon Rattanamongkolsak, said that he expected Mr Medvedev, who has “no real job” in Thailand, to be extradited within a month.
Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia, has been deported from Ukraine to Poland. He lost his Georgian citizenship when he became a citizen of Ukraine in 2015, and was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko in July last year.
Ukraine twice turned down extradition requests for Mr Saakashvili from Georgia, but deported him after he was convicted in a Ukrainian court last September of illegally entering the country and another court declined to grant him refugee status at the start of the year. His lawyer has described his deportation as a kidnapping, and Mr Saakashvili has claimed his treatment is politically motivated in light of his activism in the country. Ukraine has denied this charge.
It is reported that Sweden wanted to withdraw its extradition request for Julian Assange in 2013, but was dissuaded by the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service. Mr Assange has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012.
Sweden’s Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny is said to have written to the CPS in 2013 stating that Sweden felt “obliged to lift the detention order…and to withdraw the European Arrest Warrant”, noting that “The time passing, the costs, and how service the crime is” had to be taken into account. She added that Swedish law required “coercive measures to be proportionate”.
Sweden did not ultimately withdraw its extradition request for Mr Assange until 2017.
Ukraine’s Minister of Justice, Pavlo Petrenko, said this week that “there are no legal obstacles” to continuing the extradition procedure concerning former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Mr Saakashvili was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship in 2017, 2 years after former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko granted it and appointed him governor of Odessa Oblast, and Georgia has long called for his extradition. He was sentenced in absentia by a Georgian court to 3 years in custody for abusing his powers to pardon during his time as president.