Lucy Waterstone secures discharge of requested person sought by Belgium

05 August 2022

This week, Lucy Waterstone successfully represented a requested person, Mr B, sought by Belgium pursuant to a provisional extradition arrest warrant. The Belgian authorities requested Mr B’s surrender to try him for offences related to drug trafficking and being a member of a criminal organisation.

The Belgian authorities failed to produce a certified extradition arrest warrant within 48 hours of Mr B’s arrest. District Judge (DJ) Zani, it was argued, was therefore bound to order Mr B’s discharge under s.6(2A) of the Extradition Act 2003. Crucially, communication had taken place between Belgium and the UK, but no explanation for non-compliance had been provided. Furthermore, an application for an extension could quite easily have been made in good time and supported by information setting out why it was not reasonable to comply with s.6(2A).

Having heard from both sides, DJ Zani agreed that the Belgian authorities’ non-compliance was not reasonable in the circumstances, and he therefore refused the application for an extension of time. The Judge ordered Mr B’s discharge, which was to take effect that evening following the expiration of the 48-hour time-limit.

Lucy was instructed by Natasha Green of Rustem Guardian solicitors.