West Law Report

European warrant needs only national reference

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on December 12, 2008

From The Times
December 10, 2008
European warrant needs only national reference

Queen’s Bench Divisional Court
Published December 10, 2008
Louca v Public Prosecutor, Bielefeld, Germany Kaba v Court of First Instance, Creteil, France
Before Lord Justice Dyson, Mr Justice Pitchford and Mr Justice Gross
Judgment November 27, 2008

While a European arrest warrant had to be validated by reference to an enforceable national legal procedure, it need not refer to any other European arrest warrant that might previously have been issued in respect of the alleged offences contained in the current warrant.

The Queen’s Bench Divisional Court so held in dismissing appeals by: (i) Anastasis Louca, who appealed under section 26 of the Extradition Act 2003 against an order made by Senior District Judge Workman on September 11, 2008, at Westminster Magistrates Court, extraditing him to Germany, and (ii) Sekou Kaba, who appealed under section 26 of the 2003 Act against an order made by Senior District Judge Workman on June 24, 2008, at Westminster Magistrates Court, extraditing him to France.

Mr Louca’s extradition was sought by Germany for six offences of smuggling cigarettes into Germany and so evading liability for duty. The German judicial authority issued three European arrest warrants against him, each in respect of the same six offences. The third European warrant stated that it was based on the “arrest warrant for imprisonment on remand” which had been issued by Bielefeld County Court. It made no reference to the first and second European warrants.

Mr Kaba’s surrender was sought for four offences. Two European arrest warrants were issued against him. The second was in respect of the same offences as the first, but made no reference to the earlier European warrant. It stated that it was based upon the arrest warrant issued by the Court of First Instance, Creteil.

Both appellants appealed on the ground that the warrant on which each of the extradition orders was based did not comply with section 2(4)(b) of the 2003 Act because each warrant failed to contain particulars of the earlier European arrest warrants issued and certified in respect of the same offences.

Mr John Jones for Mr Louca; Mr Daniel Jones for the Public Prosecutor, Bielefeld. Ms Rosemary Davidson for Mr Kaba; Ms Amy Mannion for Court of First Instance, Creteil.

LORD JUSTICE DYSON said that the 2003 Act had to be interpreted in conformity with the Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA (OJ 2002 No L190/1) and, in particular, article 8(1)(c), which addressed the content and form of a European arrest warrant.

On its proper construction, article 8(1)(c) required such a warrant to contain evidence of an “enforceable judgment, arrest warrant or other enforceable judicial decision” on which the warrant was based.

There was no reason for holding that article 8(1)(c) required a European warrant to contain evidence of any earlier European warrants on which it was not based or for holding that article 8(1)(c) did not require such a warrant to contain evidence of the enforceable judgment, arrest warrants or other enforceable judgments on which it was based.

The appeals in both cases, on the ground that the European warrant failed to refer to the earlier European warrants, failed. The European warrants correctly included evidence of the domestic decisions on which they were based.

The interpretation given to section 2(4)(b) in Jaso v Central Criminal Court No 2, Madrid ([2007] EWHC 2983 (Admin)) was wrong.

Solicitors: Cartwright King, Nottingham; Crown Prosecution Service, Ludgate Hill. Lawrence & Co, Maida Vale; Crown Prosecution Service, Ludgate Hill.

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