The CJEU today ruled that Germany were right to extradite Roman Pisciotti to the US. Mr Pisciotti was accused of anti-trust offences which took place in Florida between 1999 and 2006. A Florida court issued a warrant for his arrest in 2010 and he was eventually arrested at Frankfurt airport in 2013. Germany extradited Mr Pisciotti to the US in 2014 where he served a 2-year prison sentence. In the CJEU, his lawyers argued that as he is an EU citizen he should have been treated equally to German citizens and therefore not extradited to the US as Article 16 of Germany’s Basic Law prevents Germans from being extradited other than to other EU Member States. Therefore, despite being Italian, Mr Pisciotti argued that when in Germany he was entitled under EU law to the same protection as a German citizen. The CJEU decided that Germany’s decision to extradite Mr Pisciotti did not breach EU anti-discrimination principles and that such principles should not be used in a way that would result in individuals being granted immunity from justice throughout the EU. The effect of the CJEU judgement is that Germany does not have to offer all EU citizens the same protection from extradition as it does its own citizens. However, the court held that where the extradition of an EU citizen was requested by a 3rd country, outside of the EU, from an EU Member State that would not ordinarily extradite its own citizens to that 3rd country, the authorities of that Member State should first enquire with requested person’s country of citizenship whether it wished to prosecute him for the offence that was the subject of the extradition request. If his country of citizenship declined, then extradition to the 3rd country could follow.
Michael Herba, a suspect in the kidnapping of British model Chloe Ayling, has been granted the right to appeal against his extradition from the UK to Italy (see previous blog). Mr Herba maintains that the kidnapping itself was a sham, and that he was not involved in any event. Granting him leave to appeal, the High Court said that it was reasonably arguable that the Italian authorities had provided inadequate details of how Mr Herba was said to have participated the alleged kidnapping.
Mr Herba’s lawyers have said that they will renew their objection that the case is a sham, and will also argue that, if extradited, Mr Herba will not receive a fair trial.