Case Preview: Goluchowski v District Court in Elblag, Poland; Sas v Circuit Court and District Court in Jelenia Gora, Poland
12 Tuesday Apr 2016
These conjoined appeals were heard by the Supreme Court on 14 March 2016. It had to consider whether the failure to mention or particularise Polish domestic arrest warrants issued to enforce sentences imposed on the convicted person in European Arrest Warrants (EAW) was contrary to the requirement in the Extradition Act 2003, s 2(6)(c), rendering the EAW invalid.
In Goluchowski, the extradition of the appellant was sought to serve sentences for possession and distribution of psychotropic substances. The EAW issued was certified by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, and the appellant was arrested. His extradition was ordered by a district judge, but this was contested before the High Court, where it was argued that the warrant failed to comply with the Extradition Act 2003, s 2(6)(c). The High Court considered whether the EAW, which was issued to ensure that the appellant served his sentence, required reference to the domestic arrest warrant. It found that the EAW warrant was not issued ‘in respect of the offence’, but rather to ensure that the imposed sentence was served. It was necessary that the EAW identified the foundation on which it legally stood. As there was no evidence before the court that a domestic warrant was required before an EAW could be issued, the High Court concluded that the warrant was valid.
In Sas, the extradition of the appellants, who were husband and wife, was sought in relation to an offence of obtaining credit by false representation, pursuant to conviction EAWs. Two further EAWs were issued with respect to Mr Sas. The first was an accusation warrant to face charges, while the second was a conviction warrant in relation to fraud offences. The appellants argued that their extradition should be denied on a number of grounds. They asserted that the warrant was invalid as it failed to adhere to the dual criminality requirement and did not refer to the particulars of other domestic warrants. The High Court rejected both arguments. It did not think that the domestic warrants were the basis for the EAWs issued, and so the failure to mention them did not render the EAWs invalid.
The appellants have now challenged the decision to allow their extradition in the Supreme Court. In each case, it is asserted that the EAW which sought their extradition were invalid, pursuant to the Extradition Act 2003, s 2(6)(c), as the EAWs issued did not mention or particularise Polish arrest warrants.