||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 100 (Apr)
|| EWHC 760 (Admin)
||Queen's Bench Division (Divisional Court)
Moses LJ and Holland J
||James Hines (instructed by GT Stewart Solicitors) for the appellant.
||Mark Summers (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the government of France.
||7 April 2006
Extradition - Extradition hearing - European arrest warrant - Validity of warrant - Sufficiency of particulars of offence - Extradition for purpose of being 'prosecuted' for offence - Warrant recounting history of accusations - Requirement for clarity in warrant - Whether warrant invalid - , ss 2(3)(b), 2(4)(c).
The court had to be careful not to trespass upon the consideration of the merits of the proposed prosecution when considering whether particulars sufficient to satisfy s2(4)(c) of the had been given. The validity of the warrant was the foundation for the judge's jurisdiction. If the warrant was not valid, there was no jurisdiction to order extradition under the Act. There might be cases where an account of an accusation would provide sufficient particulars to satisfy s2(4) of the 2003 Act, but the instant case was not one. In relation to whether the appellant's extradition was sought for the purpose of being prosecuted for the purposes of s2(3)(b) of the Act, the court also commented that analysis of whether the appellant is properly to be regarded as having the status of 'mise en examen' did not offend the principle prohibiting the courts in the UK from enquiring into the merits of a proposed prosecution in France. Absent clarity remained the risk that extradition was being sought merely for the purpose of questioning and not for the purpose of pursuing a criminal prosecution. District judges should not be expected to be placed under the burden of resolving disputes as to French procedural criminal law. It should be possible to explain, with precision, the stage proceedings had reached notwithstanding that the appellant had never been interrogated.
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