Extradition order quashed, allowing appellant to care for terminally ill partner and children


Re: Karaqi v Public Prosecutor's Office Of The Athens' Court Of Appeal, Greece [2020] EWHC 2650 (Admin)

This was an appeal brought by the Appellant against an order for his extradition to Greece.

The Appellant was convicted of armed robberies in Greece in 1995 and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment. In 1996, the Appellant escaped from prison in Greece. He came to the UK in 1997 and used his own name to enter and remain in the UK. He built a family life and became a British Citizen. In 2013, he was identified by the Greek authorities who issued an EAW, which was later withdrawn. In 2018 a further EAW was issued and in 2019 these proceedings commenced.

The Appellant appealed on five grounds. The Court, per McGowan J, allowed the appeal on two grounds. She concluded that the District Judge had erred finding that extradition was not oppressive by reason of the passage of time and was not a disproportionate interference with the Appellant’s rights under article 8 ECHR. The Appellant’s wife was suffering from terminal cancer and had outlived her median survival rate. Extradition would mean their children would have lost both parents in a short space of time, at a critical stage of their education. The Court concluded that the interference would be “truly exceptional” and that it is “difficult to imagine a starker illustration of a set of facts in which the effects of extradition would so destroy the life of a family”. In respect of the passage of time, the Court concluded that whilst the Appellant was a fugitive, the case was truly exceptional and it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite the Appellant. Had the Court found against the Appellant, it would have referred the Appellant’s challenge under article 3 ECHR to a Divisional Court.

James Stansfeld was involved in this case.