On 24 April 2015 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the District Judge praising Peters & Peters’ “diligent preparation of the case”, refused the extradition of two individuals, who faced extradition to Greece, pursuant to European Arrest Warrants issued in January 2013. Jasvinder Nakhwal, Partner in the Business Crime Department and Chair of the Extradition Lawyers Association leads the case at Peters & Peters, and is assisted by Associates Rebecca Meads and Charlotte Tregunna.

The refusal was on the basis that (i) to extradite would violate their Article 3 Convention rights (despite the Greek authorities’ assurances) due to the “unacceptable” conditions in the relevant wings of the prisons in which the individuals would be detained and in the prison hospital; and (ii) that the state of the prison facilities combined with the needs of both individuals’ medical conditions meant that it would be unjust and/or oppressive to extradite.

Despite the Metropolitan Police deciding not to charge either individual following their investigation into the alleged conduct, the Greek authorities charged both clients with fraud/swindling offences, and tried and sentenced them in their absence, to 12 years and 9 years imprisonment respectively. Extensive expert evidence was obtained relating to the prison conditions of the identified custodial facilities and medical evidence of the conditions from which both individuals suffer. The Greek authorities relied heavily on detailed written assurances, submitting particularly that any Article 3 challenge was unfounded in view of assurances regarding the prisons into which each of the individuals would be detained. These (virtually identical) assurances had been accepted by the UK court from the Greek government in a separate, recent extradition case which led to the extradition of that individual. We submitted, and were successful in demonstrating, that these assurances were of little value given our clients’ particular medical needs, despite the previous decision of the UK court.

The outcome in this case differs from a series of other requests from the Greek authorities in recent months, in which the UK Court has ordered extradition.

Jasvinder Nakhwal is a leading Extradition Lawyer and can be contacted at jnakhwal@petersandpeters.com or 0207 822 7777.