13th May 2021
Fordham J allows the Appellant’s appeal and discharges him from an order extraditing him to Turkey. The Court held that the District Judge ought to have found that extradition is barred due to the passage of time (s.82, Extradition Act 2003); deliberate absence (s.85) and Article 8 ECHR (s.87).
The Appellant was convicted in his absence in Turkey 13 years ago for an offence of kidnap committed 19 years ago. He was not informed of the place and time of the trial and his court-appointed lawyer was not present for all of the trial. The Appellant is settled in the UK; has a wife who is a British citizen and three children. The eldest child has an eating disorder and has spent extended periods in psychiatric hospital. The Appellant himself also suffered from depression. The Court held that the District Judge ought to have found that extradition was barred due to passage of time due to the long and culpable delay on behalf of the Turkish Authorities. Fordham J also found that the District Judge ought not have found that the Appellant was deliberately absent from his trial since he did not ‘waive’ his right to be informed of his trial; simply he waived the obligation to attend. Finally, the Court held that the District Judge was wrong to find extradition a proportionate interference with the right to private and family life of the Appellant, and particularly his wife and eldest daughter due to her mental condition.