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Kotsev v Sofia District Public Prosecutor’s Office (Bulgaria)


[2019] 1 WLR 2353
Dates of case

Appeal from a District Judge’s decision that the Appellant had deliberately absented himself from his trial, and that he would be entitled to a re-trial upon his return.

The High Court held that although the finding of deliberate absence was a factual one, in the circumstances a high degree of deference to the District Judge’s views was not required.

Further, the District Judge had erred in concluding that the Appellant would be afforded a retrial. The bare fact that a requesting state was a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights was not of itself sufficient to show that section 20(5) and (8) of the 2003 Act would be satisfied, R (Tous) v Czech Republic [2010] EWHC 1556 (Admin)) doubted.

The Court gave guidance on proof of foreign law in extradition proceedings, finding that the District Judge had erred in seeking to interpret foreign legislation without the assistance of expert evidence.

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