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Croatia / Constitutional Court / U-III - 351/2014

Josip Perković v County Court in Zagreb

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
24/01/2014

Key facts of the case:

The applicant claimed that the decision of the County Court in Zagreb (KV-eun-2/2014 of 8 January 2014), and the decision of the Supreme Court (Kž-eun-2/14-5 of 17 January 2014) on his surrender to German authorities for prosecution for murder, pursuant to the European Arrest Warrant (No: 3BJs 25/05-2(4) of 28 September 2005), violated his constitutional and human rights. In particular, he claimed that the decisions were unlawful, as he claimed that his prosecution was time barred in Croatia, which was an obligatory reason to deny surrender, in light of which his arrest in Germany would also be unlawful. He also claimed that he would not have a fair trial in Germany (basing his claim on the alleged unfairness of the proceedings against another Croatian citizen in Germany). Finally, he submitted that domestic courts decisions were incompatible with the European practice of implementing the Framework Decision on European Arrest Warrant and the Surrender Procedure between the Member States, whereby he was discriminated against in comparison to other European citizens in similar situations. He claimed that according to the practice of the CJEU, exclusion of verification of double criminality for listed offences does not extend to questions of the statute of limitation.

Outcome of the case:

Domestic courts, however, held that the fact that the act in question was on the list of offences for which double criminality is not checked precluded examination of the statute of limitations, which anyhow, according to their application of relevant domestic laws, has not expired, contrary to what the applicant claimed. They also held that the applicant did not make it probable that the proceedings in Germany would be unfair, as his claims concerned assessment of evidence in the proceedings against another person.