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Surrender to Lithuania ordered where no issue of trial in absentia arose

By: James Cross BL

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High Court, in European Arrest Warrant proceedings, orders the surrender of the respondent to Lithuania for prosecution of two offences, on the grounds that: no issue in relation to trial in absentia arose; the respondent failed to rebut the presumption that a decision has been made to charge him; and the fact that the prosecutor’s decision to issue the warrant was subject to review was a sufficient guarantee of the level of judicial protection required.

European arrest warrant – prosecutorial warrant – Lithuanian authorities seeking the surrender of respondent – trial on two offences – adjourned pending the determination of another case – points of objection – trial in absentia - abuse of process – no trial and no sentence in this case – leeway for translator - satisfied that the entire warrant should not be set aside - no abuse of process – correspondence - abundantly clear that the criminal damage was part and parcel of the plot to steal - doctrine of joint enterprise is clear - correspondence with both offences found – whether decision has been made to charge him – presumption that decision to charge has been made – failed to rebut the presumption - disproportionate interference with, his rights and/or his family rights – does not meet the high threshold to prohibit his surrender – conditional surrender – submitted that should this respondent be surrendered to the issuing State, that there should be a condition attached to his surrender, namely that he be returned to this jurisdiction to serve any sentence that may or may not be imposed -High Court cannot provide this condition because it is not provided for in law – whether the Public Prosecutor is a Judicial Authority within the meaning of the Act of 2003 and the 2002 Framework Decision - establishment of a separate right of appeal against the decision to issue a European arrest warrant taken by a judicial authority other than a court offers a sufficient guarantee of the level of judicial protection required by the Framework Decision, provided that the appellate court may carry out an assessment of compliance as to the conditions for the issue of a European arrest warrant - Court must bear in mind the principle of mutual trust and confidence - for the respondent to satisfy the Court that the prima facie statement by the Lithuanian authority as to their own law is incorrect - deputy prosecutor issued the EAW and there is no contest that there is an appeal to the Prosecutor General – failed to place before the type of cogent evidence required to overturn the clear and unequivocal evidence provided by the Lithuanian authorities in the Lisauskas case – Prosecutor’s decision to issue a European arrest warrant is subject to review – 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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