Key facts of the case:
Request for a preliminary ruling from the Županijski Sud u Zagrebu.
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Judicial cooperation in criminal matters — European arrest warrant — Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA — Article 1(2), Article 3(2) and Article 4(3) — Grounds for the refusal to execute — Closure of criminal proceedings — Principle ne bis in idem — Requested person who had the status of a witness in previous proceedings concerning the same acts — Issue of several European arrest warrants against the same person.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Fifth chamber) hereby rules:
- Article 1(2) of Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States, as amended by Council Framework Decision 2009/299/JHA of 26 February 2009, must be interpreted as requiring the judicial authority of the executing Member State to adopt a decision on any European arrest warrant forwarded to it, even when, in that Member State, a ruling has already been made on a previous European arrest warrant concerning the same person and the same acts, but the second European arrest warrant has been issued only on account of the indictment, in the issuing Member State, of the requested person.
- Article 3(2) and Article 4(3) of Framework Decision 2002/584, as amended by Framework Decision 2009/299, must be interpreted as meaning that a decision of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, such as that of the Hungarian National Bureau of Investigation in question in the main proceedings, which terminated an investigation opened against an unknown person, during which the person who is the subject of the European arrest warrant was interviewed as a witness only, without criminal proceedings having been brought against that person and where the decision was not taken in respect of that person, cannot be relied on for the purpose of refusing to execute that European arrest warrant pursuant to either of those provisions