Bollocks, complete and total bollocks

Britain would become a safe haven for rapists, murderers and child molesters if it leaves the European Arrest Warrant, senior Tories warned today.

Home Secretary Theresa May claimed opting out of the pan-European extradition deal risks Britain becoming a ‘honeypot’ for European fugitives.

It’s entirely possible to have an extradition scheme which is not this particular extradition scheme. We can prove this by noting that we have extradition agreements with non-EU countries, countries that are therefore not part of the European Arrest Warrant scheme.
This is all so obvious that I’m actually surprised that these lying shits are willing to try it on.

37 thoughts on “Bollocks, complete and total bollocks”

  1. Reminds me of the US copper who said encryption would make iPhones the “phone of choice” for kiddie diddlers.

    Just how ‘effing stupid do they think we are?

  2. The case summaries in fair trials’ show just how unjust the EAW is.

    “Alan was serving a prison sentence for people-trafficking in France when he found out he was wanted under an EAW to stand trial in Belgium. … Once Alan had been extradited to Belgium, the judge ruled the case breached double-jeopardy rules”.

    Boo hoo for the terrible inconvenience to the convicted people-trafficker Alan.

    Of course, being British should exempt one from the consequences of one’s criminal actions outside of Britain.

  3. Isn’t that it a total non-sequitur to say that if we withdraw from the EAW then anyone who comes here can never be sent back to face trial for something committed abroad? We could still take applications from other nations for extradition, it would just be up to us to decide who we sent and who we didn’t. And if its a request for British citizen, they better have some pretty good evidence that a crime has been committed, and that the person demanded was involved in it, otherwise on your bike Fritz!

  4. they better have some pretty good evidence that a crime has been committed, and that the person demanded was involved in it

    And that the crime would be a crime if the activities had been committed in the UK at the time of the alleged offence.

    Holocaust denial, as an example.

  5. bloke (not) in spain

    “And that the crime would be a crime if the activities had been committed in the UK at the time of the alleged offence.”

    If that’s the way you want it, SE. But you might want to reverse that statement & think on it a while. There’s rather a lot of crimes that are crimes in the UK but not in EU countries. With our current masters’ enthusiasm for criminalising anything & everything, I’d hazard more.

  6. Leftist in Germany: The rule was –at one time long ago–that an Englishman could not be extradited from England for any reason whatsoever. If you had reason to accuse it could only be for a “crime” that was still a crime under English law( so the Greeks and their plane-spotting charges can fuck right off). It should still be so but for the proviso noted by B(N)IS above–that England is now itself a socialist shithole.

    What’s your beef with the “people-trafficker” anyway. Isn’t he helping folk get past those nasty racist immigration laws.

    May really is a vile hag, every bit a worthy BluLabour successor to the previous fat. stupid cow.

  7. The point (or a point) is that judicial sovereignty allows a country to choose to act as a safe haven for fugitives from another country’s law when Country A thinks Country B’s laws are unjust. It does not prevent Country A extraditing them, but it allows it to.

    This really is the difference between the liberal and authoritarian attitudes to freedom. Liberals consider what freedom will allow the good to do; authoritarians (such as Neo-Progressives, the major strain at the moment) think of freedom only as an enabler of the bad people.

  8. I don’t understand why people object to the EAW*, other than the fact it makes a convenient scapegoat when the Foreign Office screws up. It’s our foot in the door to clean up the EU countries without functioning justice systems.

    Take the well-known example with the kid extradited to Greece, and it illustrates the point well. It’s all very well to blame the EAW, but what would have happened if the kid was arrested before leaving Greece?

  9. Dave what would have happened if the kid was arrested before leaving Greece?
    How about a petition, boycott of holidays there, send a gunboat, that sort of thing?
    Because we are a sovereign nation, and we should not allow our citizens to be taken from our shores without full due process under our laws.
    I’d also scrap the US/UK extradition treaty for lack of symmetry – they do Chicago-style plea bargaining, we do not.

  10. Dave

    “It’s our foot in the door to clean up the EU countries without functioning justice systems.”

    What! And just how?

    And why the f*ck should we be trying to or want to interfere in other countries’ sovereign affairs in any case..

    This system, as I understand it, treats a Greek request for someone in Essex in the same way as a request from say Nottingham.

    Ie, it just goes through on the nod. And as it should do if it was from Nottingham.

    Irrespective of whether that person in Essex has ever been to Greece or whether the crime they are supposed to have committed is even a crime under UK law.

    If you can’t see why that is completely and utterly bonkers, you’re on a different planet.

    This is creating a single legal process for the United States of Europe, but without any common legal systems in place; an even more f*cked up version of “the Euro without fiscal union”.

  11. ” It’s our foot in the door to clean up the EU countries without functioning justice systems.”

    What a shitty little statement to make. You don’t mind if people get extradited from the UK to legal hellholes, for ‘crimes’ they didn’t commit, indeed ‘crimes’ that may never have existed, and thats all OK because it will in some (completely unspecified) way aid making those countries into fairly functioning legal systems.

    All I can say is I hope some Bulgarian crime boss bribes his local police chief and puts out a EAW for your arrest on trumped up charges. And while you sit in a Bulgarian prison surrounded by murderers and rapists, trying in vain to prove that you have never even been to Bulgaria previously, far less committed any crime, you can have a sense of real satisfaction of how you are assisting in cleaning up the Bulgarian legal system.

  12. Leftist? That’s a new one. “Federast” might be a suitable insult to hurl but leftist simply isn’t accurate.

  13. Take the well-known example with the kid extradited to Greece, and it illustrates the point well. It’s all very well to blame the EAW, but what would have happened if the kid was arrested before leaving Greece?

    Presumably he would have been immediately banged up because of the same corruption instead of coming back to the UK, failing to appeal against the warrant and being extradited. Not sure what you are trying to say.

  14. Jeremy T>

    Quite, you’ve got the point. The problem isn’t the EAW, it’s the Greek ‘justice’ system. The fact is that however some UK citizen falls into their hands, the British consul is supposed to get matters dealt with speedily and fairly.

    PF>

    “Irrespective of whether that person in Essex has ever been to Greece or whether the crime they are supposed to have committed is even a crime under UK law.”

    No, that’s incorrect.

    Jim>

    “You don’t mind if people get extradited from the UK to legal hellholes, for ‘crimes’ they didn’t commit”

    No, that’s the opposite of what I said. I pointed out that it makes bugger all difference whether you’re arrested under an EAW or in Greece – what matters is whether the FO gets the trumped-up charges dismissed straightaway or not.

    What you don’t seem to understand is that your ‘Bulgarian crime boss’ could have had you extradited with trumped-up charges under the old system too. It’s far more important to make sure that UK citizens overseas are protected from foreign ‘justice’ systems than to prevent some subset of the accused falling into their hands.

    UKL>

    Yes, you’ve got it as well. You must, therefore, agree that it clearly wasn’t the EAW which was the problem there.

  15. Dave

    PF>

    “Irrespective of whether that person in Essex has ever been to Greece or whether the crime they are supposed to have committed is even a crime under UK law.”

    No, that’s incorrect.

    Which bit are you saying is incorrect – specifically?

    The “not having been to Greece” bit, or “not a crime under UK law”?

  16. Dave,

    Yes, you’ve got it as well. You must, therefore, agree that it clearly wasn’t the EAW which was the problem there.

    It was one of several problems; if we weren’t obliged to extradite him regardless of any issues he wouldn’t have encountered the problems he faced on his return to Greece.

  17. What the antis seem to be missing is that, even if the UK pulls up all its drawbridges, the rest of Europe won’t. Anyone accused of a crime should, I hope we agree, have to answer for it and have the opportunity to mount a defense. That’s pretty fundamental, and the complaint goes that various shady forrin jurisdictions aren’t all that fair. Which should be at least decreasingly the case, even in the shadier corners of the EU. Still, drawbridge pulled up, anyone accused of a crime in the EU is then effectively barred from travelling to the EU, since they will probably be arrested on arrival and transferred to the jurisdiction that would like a word with them. It might be better just to answer the allegations voluntarily.

    The complaints seem to boil down to two things. Firstly, holding accused criminals on remand, something the Brits do, especially forriners who are considered a flight risk. Secondly poor translation facilities. About which the antis here kicked up a fuss recently, at the spiralling costs for court interpreters and translators. Which resulted in the current “no frills” arrangements – about which we can objectively say that cases have been thrown out due to abysmal performance of interpreters. In most places interpreting is your business to provide if you need it.

    The only totally egregious EAW case I remember was of someone who published some book and was accused of blasphemy in Greece. Surely this has more to do with the wider issue of jurisdiction over publication, in particular on the internet (which Tim has written at length about – that in effect anything you publish on the web is published worldwide and subject to every jurisdiction. The only difference the EAW makes here is that Greece might get me if I insult the president of Greece, whereas if I mock the King of Thailand online or in a publication that makes it to Thailand they would have a harder time getting me (provided I stay in a place that takes a hard line on extraditions). And woe betide any Brit who makes threats against the USA. Again, drawbridge up, it still doesn’t protect a British citizen visiting, say, France, against the Greek authorities. So the issue remains a question of how far jurisdiction over publications should reach and how we reach an international settlement

  18. Dave,

    There is a bigger picture here, the basic principle of which you didn’t really respond to.

    Perhaps, if you can, explain why you think the EAW is any kind of rational answer for an extradition process between independent nation states, in comparison to a process that always puts a court decision in place within the country from whom someone in being extradited, and particularly given the different legal systems in place?

    This is just one example of the reality and why, in the context of the above, it is so fundamentally flawed:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/douglascarswellmp/100272749/brits-are-being-carted-off-to-face-trial-in-foreign-courts-time-to-scrap-the-european-arrest-warrant/

    Now, sure, if you are some “federalist” – and for whom all of these processes, such as the EAW, are simply logical and sequential steps in the inevitable journey to some political EUSSR or USE (whatever your flavour?), or worse – then absolutely fine, I admire your honesty (but nothing more) and let’s just leave it at that.

    As always, there is absolutely no point arguing with someone over the route if you are both trying to get to a different destination.

    But.. Assuming that’s not your intended destination, ie you are not some kind of USE federalist, then I am curious to understand why you think the EAW has any merit?

    ..

    BiG, not sure who your comment about Nigerians was aimed at. I’ll assume it wasn’t me (as otherwise you didn’t read / comprehend it properly).

  19. “I pointed out that it makes bugger all difference whether you’re arrested under an EAW or in Greece – what matters is whether the FO gets the trumped-up charges dismissed straightaway or not. ”

    Well thats whole point, thats what the EAW does. It extends the reach of the trumped up charge from some corrupt country right back to the UK. If you go abroad and get innocently embroiled in something and get arrested, well that is a risk of going to countries with less than decent legal systems. And if that happens hopefully the FO will intervene on your behalf. But the EAW allows that corrupt system extract you from the UK if you have managed to leave in the meantime. If a country wishes to extradite a UK citizen, our legal system should examine the extradition case, and see if it has merit or not, and the accused should be allowed to make his or her case for the extradition to be thrown out. As it is its just a case of ‘We have an EAW for Joe Bloggs. Are you Joe Bloggs? Yes, then off you go!’. We regard a request from any number of corrupt legal systems as they were our equal. Which they are not. And that is what is wrong with the EAW system.

    “What you don’t seem to understand is that your ‘Bulgarian crime boss’ could have had you extradited with trumped-up charges under the old system too”

    The old system had far more leeway built into it. It gave the accused far more opportunity to have the extradition quashed on whatever grounds. If a spurious extradition order came regarding a time you could prove you were in the UK for example, you could get it thrown out. Its bizarre that we can’t deport foreign criminals to their home nations because of the ‘human rights’ but we are quite happy to extradite innocent UK citizens to countries where the chances of a fair trial for foreigners is virtually nil.

  20. If that’s the way you want it, SE. But you might want to reverse that statement & think on it a while.

    No, thanks for the offer. This is the way it used to work. If it isn;t a crime in the other country, they’ve got no motivation to go through all the paperwork for an extradition request. If it isn’t a crime in the UK*, the answer to the request is “awfully sorry, old man, but that isn’t against the law here.” Your point about the bansturbationist tendency is noted but irrelevant.

    Can Nigerian computer fraudsters commit crimes in the UK without travelling to the UK? Yes or no?

    Indeed. They often commit crimes against ss2 and 3 CMA86 and s2** Fraud Act 2006. And against, and this is important, sections 383, 419 (the infamous one), 420 and 421 of the Nigerian Criminal Code, Part VI. Dual criminality, extradition should be possible.

    * Recognising that there are 3 different jurisdictions in the UK but brevity often aids clarity.

    ** But not in Scotland. That 3 jurisdictions stuff.

  21. bloke (not) in spain

    @SE
    When I said you might want to reverse that statement, I did actually suggest reversing the statement.
    Bugger your What about the possibility of being hauled back to the UK under a EAW for something would be laughed out of court in most European jurisdictions? Some of our “hate crime” legislation, for a start.

  22. bloke (not) in spain

    How odd. Things put in French quote marks just disappear.
    OK. In English, this time:

    @SE
    When I said you might want to reverse that statement, I did actually suggest reversing the statement.
    Bugger your “If it isn’t a crime in the UK*, the answer to the request is “awfully sorry, old man, but that isn’t against the law here.”
    What about the possibility of being hauled back to the UK under a EAW for something would be laughed out of court in most European jurisdictions? Some of our “hate crime” legislation, for a start. What makes you think your system’s any less frightening than anyone else’s?

  23. In the USA, unlike in the USE, people arrested in one state for a crime committed in another state have to be extradited. In nearly all cases this is routine, but in some instances extradition is refused.
    I remember one case where someone who had led a blameless life for forty years was charged with a crime they had allegedly committed as a teenager. The governor of his state of residence felt this was unfair, and rejected the extradition request.

  24. bloke (not) in spain

    For example, SE how do you reckon some of the recent Operation Yewtree prosecutions would have fared in front of a decent Investigating Magistrate rather than stitched up between Plod & the CPS? Last weeks dismissal over the “fake marriages” where the prosecution didn’t actually have any evidence, so made it up?

  25. PF>

    The bit about it not being a crime in England (and Wales). That is still a bar to extradition, even under an EAW. Julian Assange tried it on, although he was told that what he was accused of was also a crime here.

    UKL>

    But that doesn’t solve the problem for UK citizens arrested in Greece. Whereas getting a foot in the door to fix their justice system does.

    PF (again)>

    “Perhaps, if you can, explain why you think the EAW is any kind of rational answer for an extradition process between independent nation states”

    There is indeed a bigger picture, and the idea of the EAW is that it’s fine to have on-the-nod extradition between countries who trust each others’ justice systems. The idea of extending it to the countries who we can’t say that of is that it opens the door to changing their systems so that they become acceptable.

    It’s vital, though, for that to work, that the diplomats of the countries with functioning justice systems jump into action and force changes every time one of their citizens runs afoul of the other countries, particularly when an EAW is involved.

    The whole thing looks completely insane when that second part doesn’t happen, I completely agree.

    “if you are some “federalist” – and for whom all of these processes, such as the EAW, are simply logical and sequential steps in the inevitable journey to some political EUSSR or USE (whatever your flavour?)”

    I’m a libertarian who thinks that countries the size of England are obsolete. I’d like to see a European federal state made up of roughly council-sized nations and a proper democratic federal government uniting them. Being a realist, I’m well aware that the EU is one of the biggest obstacles to that.

    I take your point about routes and destinations, but I don’t think it applies here. This is nothing to do with federalism, and everything to do with the kind of cultural hegemony that I fully support. We have a chance to fix the dysfunctional justice systems in relatively nearby countries, and we should take it.

    Jim>

    I think I’ve answered you when answering the previous three points, but let me know if I missed anything.

  26. bloke (not) in spain

    “But that doesn’t solve the problem for UK citizens arrested in Greece. Whereas getting a foot in the door to fix their justice system does…..
    …There is indeed a bigger picture, and the idea of the EAW is that it’s fine to have on-the-nod extradition between countries who trust each others’ justice systems. The idea of extending it to the countries who we can’t say that of is that it opens the door to changing their systems so that they become acceptable.”
    Dave. The UK government is an elected government of the UK people. It doesn’t owe those people an obligation to sort out the Greek or any other country’s judicial system. Using its own people as a door opening device to sort out foreign judicial systems is simply unacceptable. It wants to do that, that’s what it’s got an Army for..

  27. @Dave: you haven’t answered jack shit. All you’ve said is that its fine for innocent UK citizens to be hauled off to foreign climes as long as the FO then sort things out if its a fit up. What sort of justice system is that? And how likely is it that the FO have the resources to deal with all the miscarriages of justice that take place in foreign countries involving UK citizens? Wouldn’t it be better to prevent (whenever possible) a miscarriage of justice by demanding extradition requests meet certain standards of evidence and legality here in the UK BEFORE sending the accused abroad?

    Did the FO manage to prevent Gary Mann doing two years in a Portuguese prison, which was described by a senior UK judge as ‘a serious injustice’?

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2010/may/12/garry-mann-extradited-portugal

    You also haven’t answered my question as to why human rights legislation prevents us from deporting foreign criminal from the UK, but don’t seem to stop innocent UK citizen being sent abroad to potential miscarriages of justice.

  28. Dave,

    PF>
    The bit about it not being a crime in England (and Wales). That is still a bar to extradition, even under an EAW. Julian Assange tried it on, although he was told that what he was accused of was also a crime here.

    There is a list of 32 categories of offence (the framework list) for which dual criminality is not required. Assange tried to argue that three of his alleged offences did not meet the dual criminality test and that the fourth did not amount to rape (one of the offences in the framework list) if the circumstances were fairly and accurately described.

    UKL>
    But that doesn’t solve the problem for UK citizens arrested in Greece. Whereas getting a foot in the door to fix their justice system does.

    Please describe the mechanism provided by the EAW that allows “a foot in the door to fix” the issuing country’s justice system.

  29. Jim,

    You also haven’t answered my question as to why human rights legislation prevents us from deporting foreign criminal from the UK, but don’t seem to stop innocent UK citizen being sent abroad to potential miscarriages of justice.

    ‘Human rights legislation’ has prevented foreign criminals from being deported and people from being extradited. Many more foreign criminals have been deported than not deported due to human rights legislation.

  30. Dave

    Thanks for taking the time to come back, and I do understand where you are coming from.

    I fundamentally disagree with you, but that’s simply because I genuinely don’t believe (as you do) for example that countries the size of England (or the United Kingdom) are obsolete!

    There are lots of other interesting points you have made that it would be interesting to counter individually; but, as I said above – even if you are not talking about federalism exactly as I described it – this really is about completely different destinations (sovereign nation states versus a “European federal state made up of…”).

    It’s in that context that I see the EAW, in its “on the nod” form, as nothing more than a step / process towards that federalist goal.

    And that’s despite the stupidity of very different existing justice and legal systems in place. As I said before, it’s like introducing the euro before putting some sort of fiscal and tax union in place: pure nonsense to any sane or rational observer.

    Your comment about “fixing dysfunctional justice systems” in other sovereign states almost reminds me of those EU politicians who – in the pursuit of their federalist utopia – intended that introducing the euro would force fiscal responsibility on to the Med…

    Thanks again for coming back, I appreciate it.

  31. “Human rights legislation’ has prevented foreign criminals from being deported and people from being extradited.”

    Name me one case where an EAW has been overturned on human rights grounds.

  32. Forgot to say, there is also a difference between (A) deporting someone because the state doesn’t want them here and (B) extraditing someone to face trial or a sentence.

  33. “Forgot to say, there is also a difference between (A) deporting someone because the state doesn’t want them here and (B) extraditing someone to face trial or a sentence.”

    Not to the person being deported there isn’t.

    If person A can’t be deported by State X to State Y because of his human rights, why shouldn’t person B have the same protection from unjust demands for extradition from State Y?

    Or is the human right of an actually convicted criminal to have a ‘family life’ in the UK greater than that of an unconvicted UK citizen to not have to be subject to a miscarriage of justice in a foreign land?

  34. Jim,

    If person A can’t be deported by State X to State Y because of his human rights, why shouldn’t person B have the same protection from unjust demands for extradition from State Y?
    Or is the human right of an actually convicted criminal to have a ‘family life’ in the UK greater than that of an unconvicted UK citizen to not have to be subject to a miscarriage of justice in a foreign land?

    Anyone facing deportation or extradition can attempt to appeal on Convention grounds. Any appellant will find it very difficult to win an appeal on the grounds that he won’t get a fair trial in an EU member state. Any appellant facing trial in the other country will find it very difficult to win an appeal on the grounds that it is a disproportionate interference with his right to a family life.

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