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NI Court dismisses appeal by polish authorities in extradition case

On 8th September the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by Polish authorities against a Judge’s decision that it would not be proportionate to extradite a polish man (‘A’) on the grounds that it would disproportionately interfere with his son’s rights under Article 8 ECHR. 

The Polish authorities sought the extradition of A, who had been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for a motoring offence, resulting in the death of two people.  Following an unsuccessful appeal of his jail sentence A unlawfully absconded to Northern Ireland in July 2005.  He was arrested in Northern Ireland on foot of the Polish arrest warrant on 30th December 2011 and remanded in custody. 

At the extradition hearing in March 2012 the High Court accepted evidence from expert child psychiatrists that A’s extradition would have significant adverse consequences for his child, who suffers from speech and language delay.  The High Court also took account of the fact that A had served approximately 50% of his prison sentence in Northern Ireland.  The High Court weighed the Article 8 family rights of the child against the public interest in extraditing A and held that extradition was no longer appropriate. 

The Polish authorities appealed the judgment, however, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision.  Senior judges opined that, while this was a difficult case as the original offence involved the death of 2 people, there was indisputable evidence that the extradition would present significant challenges to the child’s social, emotional and academic function.  The Court of Appeal was therefore not persuaded that the overall conclusion reached by the lower court that extradition would be disproportionate was wrong.

Click here for coverage from The Belfast Telegraph.   

Immigration & Asylum