No permission to appeal extradition, where applicants’ appeared by video link


Re: Rahim & Anor v Assize Court of Bolzano (Italy) [2020] EWHC 2748 (Admin)

This case involved permission to appeal the applicants’ extradition to Italy under European Arrest Warrants and an application to add an additional ground of appeal relating to the fairness of a recent appeal hearing in Italy, which confirmed the applicants’ convictions and the sentences imposed by the first instance Italian Assize Court. The additional ground is that there was a markedly unfair trial before the Assize Court of Appeal of Trento on 10 July 2020, when it upheld the convictions and sentences of the Assize Court of Bolzano as the applicants’ were unable to participate in the trial in any way. This was aided by the UK, the applicants add, since the UK provided the video link to the Italian court from Wandsworth prison, where the applicants were located.

The background in brief is that the applicants were tried in Italy along with four other defendants before the Assize Court of Bolzano, where they were convicted on 15 July 2019 of an offence contrary to Article 270 of the Italian Criminal Code of international terrorist association arising out of their membership of a group called Rawti Shax. The applicants had been summonsed in September 2018 to attend the Bolzano trial. Their summonses were personally served on them, but they did not attend. At the relevant time they were at liberty in the UK. The Assize Court gave reasons for the convictions and later produced a judgment dated 14 October 2019, which has been translated into English.

Held: neither ground is arguable and permission to appeal is refused. The judge could not detect any significant breaches of the ECHR Article 6 or common law standards of fairness and due process.

Clare Montgomery QC and James Stansfeld and Mark Summers QC were involved in this case.