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No real risk that respondent’s fundamental rights will be breached if surrendered to Lithuania

By: James Cross BL

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High Court, in European Arrest Warrant proceedings, ordered the surrender of the respondent to Lithuania, on the grounds that: minimum gravity was established; there was no lack of clarity in the warrant; and the Court was not satisfied that there are substantial grounds for believing that, if surrendered, there is a real risk that the respondent’s fundamental rights will be breached due to prison conditions in Lithuania.

European Arrest Warrant – custodial warrant – sentence re-activated having been suspended – points of objection – minimum gravity – aggregate or composite sentence in respect of three offences - respective penalties imposed for each of the offences have been merged into a single composite sentence and so the composite penalty of 1 year and 4 months’ imprisonment applies to all of the offences and it is no longer possible to unmerge the composite penalty into separate constituent elements for each offence – minimum gravity met - lack of clarity – suspended sentence was simply activated due to a failure to comply with the conditions of suspension of sentence, without any change to the nature or level of the sentence initially imposed - no lack of clarity as regards any relevant facts in respect of issues which this Court has to determine - no injustice or prejudice has been or will be caused to the respondent as a result of any alleged lack of clarity or particulars in the EAW – real risk of inhuman and degrading treatment due to prison conditions in Lithuania - prison conditions – request for information - assured the Court that the conditions in Lithuanian prisons meet the minimal international standards and stated that the respondent will be guaranteed the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights – Court not satisfied that there are substantial grounds for believing that, if surrendered, there is a real risk that the respondent’s fundamental rights will be breached - satisfied that the Lithuanian authorities have taken significant steps to deal with the issue of inter-prisoner violence and that the respondent’s right, under article 3 ECHR, not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment will be respected and given effect to - surrender would not be incompatible with State’s obligations under ECHR – surrender ordered.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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