Jonathan Swain successfully argues for discharge of an individual detained on an arrest warrant, who was not the person whose extradition was requested

25 October 2021

The client, a Hungarian national born in Canada and who had lived in England for a number of years was detained on an Arrest Warrant under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

The client’s details bore close resemblance to another Hungarian man whose surrender was sought by Romania. However, the National Crime Agency had mistakenly imported the client’s details onto their file for the warrant, and not those of the man wanted by the Romanians.

The incorrect details had also been added to the NCA certificate and were used, together with a photograph when confirming identity at the point of arrest. No issue was initially taken about identity at the first appearance, as the certificate contained the full details of the person arrested. However, it later became apparent that the client was not the person detailed on the warrant.

As there is no power to re-open the argument of identity beyond the initial hearing, Mr Swain argued that the NCA certificate was invalid as it contained information not drawn from the warrant and which related to a different individual. The Judge agreed, and the warrant was discharged.

Jonathan was instructed by Richard Jefferies of Carters Solicitors.