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, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras explained that he did not promise Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he would extradite eight former Turkish soldiers who left Turkey after the attempted coup in 2016. Mr Tspiras went on to explain that he understands that the separation of powers in Greece is vital and that it would not be for him to say whether the men would be extradited because that was a matter for the juridical authorities.
The eight soldiers in question arrived in Greece aboard a military helicopter, hours after the coup failed in July 2016. In January this year, the Greek Supreme Court ruled against extraditing the former soldiers, who were released in another ruling last week. In response to the decision to release the soldiers, Turkey suspended its bilateral migrant readmission deal with Greece.
Yesterday Malaysia’s Attorney General, Tommy Thomas, announced that he has received 1MDB investigation papers from the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). Mr Thomas released a statement expressing his desire to make sure that the papers were examined to consider all potential criminal and civil prosecutions that may arise in connection with the 1MDB scandal. Mr Thomas also explained that he has recieved Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) requests from the US, France, UAE and Switzerland. MLA is the formal co-operation between sovereign states in criminal investigations and proceedings. It encompasses the provision of information and evidence to other jurisdictions and making witnesses available to foreign trial courts.
To read more about the 1MDB scandal please click here.
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.
It has been reported that Singapore requested a Red Notice be circulated by INTERPOL for the location and arrest of Low Taek Jho (known as ‘Jho Low’) in October 2016. On Friday, Singapore’s Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a joint statement explaining that in October 2016 “all members of INTERPOL, including Malaysia, would have been aware of the Red Notices when they were published.” The statement also explained that General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has gone to Singapore to meet with the AGC, CAD and MASS as part of an ongoing collaboration between Malaysia and Singapore to investigate the 1MDB scandal.
It has been reported that Mr Low is currently residing in China and could be extradited under the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) agreement between Malaysia and China. However, if Mr Low is residing in Taiwan, Malaysia will have a tougher time trying to get him extradited because Malaysia has no diplomatic relationship or extradition treaty with Taiwan.
You can read more on our coverage of the 1MDB here.
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, Stephen Lawrence murder suspect, James Acourt was extradited from Barcelona to face drug charges here in the UK. His arrest in Spain was conducted through a joint operation between the Metropolitan Police, National Crime Agency and Spanish police. He arrived in the UK yesterday and has since been formally charged with conspiracy to supply the class B drug, cannabis. He is due to appear before Westminster Magistrates’ court later today.
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.
On the 1st June, German prosecutors formally applied to the higher regional court in Germany for the extradition of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont. German prosecutors want Puigdemont returned to Spain to face charges related to his role in the Catalan independence movement, last year. The formal request comes one month after German prosecutors failed to convince the court that Puigdemont should be remanded in custody pending his full extradition hearing.
Last week also saw Pedro Sanchez become the new Prime Minister of Spain, however it is unlikely that the new Spanish leader will reverse the Spanish Court’s decision to try and extradite Puigdemont. A date for the final decision regarding Puigdemont’s extradition has not yet been announced.
You can find our other blog posts relating to this matter here.