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.
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.”
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 Mr Rodrigo Dinardi Vicentini attended Brazil’s World Cup group stage match in Russia where he was promptly arrested by Russian authorities and may face extradition back to Brazil. Mr Vincentini has been flagged by INTERPOL as wanted by the Brazilian authorities since 2017. He is accused of being involved in the robberies of a number of Brazilian post offices and could face up to 50 years in prison if he is convicted upon his return to Brazil.
Last week, a former adviser to President Putin, Dr Alexander Alexandrovich Shapovalov, had his extradition to Russia blocked by Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Dr Shapovalov’s extradition was requested by Russia because he has been convicted of fraud and sentenced, on appeal, to 9 years and 10 months imprisonment. Dr Shapovalov’s lawyers argued that the fraud charges were ‘trumped up’ and that he faced an unfair prosecution, a risk of torture if he was imprisoned in Russia and other breaches of his human rights. Sheriff Ross accepted that Dr Shapovalov did not receive a fair trial and criticised the Russian Federation’s justice system explaining that if Dr Shapovalov were extradited to Russia he would face unfair prosecution, possible torture and inhuman conditions in the Russian prison system. Sheriff Ross dismissed the evidence from Russia as ‘poor quality, inadequate and misdirected.’
Yesterday, the US State Department approved Panama’s request for the extradition of their former President Ricardo Martinelli. Mr Martinelli has been held in a Miami jail since last year after Panama requested his extradition to face charges of spying. Panama alleges that Mr Martinelli used public money to spy on more than 150 of his political rivals between 2009 and 2014. Mr Martinelli has maintained that he is not guilty, has expressed belief that the US will protect him whilst he helps the US authorities investigate cross-border crimes and has claimed that current President of Panama, Mr Juan Carlos Varela is attacking his reputation on political grounds.
The Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has issued arrest warrants for Mr Nik Faisal and Mr Low Taek Jho (‘Jho Low’) after the MACC failed to contact them yesterday regarding their ongoing investigation into the 1MBD scandal. Despite not holding an official role at 1MBD, Mr Low is known as a central figure in the ongoing investigation into the misappropriation of public funds worth almost $3.5bn. The Malaysian Prime Minister, Mr Mahathir Mohamad, has explained that the Malaysian government have located Mr Low, but he is in a country that does not share an extradition treaty with Malaysia. Mr Mohamad failed to disclose Mr Low’s location.
Last month, the High Court stayed India’s appeal against Westminster Magistrates’ Court’s refusal to extradite Mr Chawla. The High Court requested details of the facilities available in Tahir jail, the jail where Mr Chawla would likely be imprisoned if he were to be extradited to India.
Mr Chawla’s extradition was requested in connection with his alleged role in match-fixing during South Africa’s tour of India in 2000. If he is extradited to India, and imprisoned in Tahir jail, the Home Ministry of India has explained that he will have access to his own toilet facilities and guaranteed medical treatment. The assurance also detailed the ways in which he will be protected from violence within the jail.
This is the third assurance given to the High Court by India in this case. It hopes to alleviate the concern of the High Court judges that Mr Chawla faces a real risk of his human rights being breached due to the conditions within Tahir jail. The previous two assurances were deemed ‘inadequate’ by the High Court.
It is not unusual for the UK courts to request assurances from India in relation to extradition cases. If Mr Chawla is successfully extradited to India, this will be the first contested extradition case from the UK to India to succeed since India and the UK entered an extradition treaty in 1992.
This week marked one year since the Manchester bombing. The only living suspect, Hashem Abedi, is currently being held in Libya by a militia group known as the Special Deterrence Force (SDF). Abedi was arrested by the SDF last May and the UK requested Abedi’s extradition last October, so that he could face charges relating to the Manchester Bombing that was carried out by his brother. However, it has since come to light that given he is a British and Libyan dual national, he could request, under Libyan Law, not to be extradited to the UK. Greater Manchester Police have explained that they believe Hashem Abedi helped to organise and prepare the explosives used by his brother to kill 22 victims last May.
If Abedi continues to refuse extradition to the UK, then he will face a full, contested, extradition hearing in Libya. Greater Manchester Police have said they are ready to provide evidence to help get Abedi extradited to the UK.