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Croatia / Supreme Court / Kž-eun 7/16-4

F. E. H. van E. v. The State's Attorney Office of the Republic of Croatia

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia
Decision date:

Key facts of the case: 

The State Attorney in Hague demanded the transfer under the European arrest warrant procedure of an EU citizen for commiting fraud, embezzlement, money laundering and forging documents.The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia decided on the appeal  whether the failure to observe the time-limits stipulated in the Framework Decision ceases the obligation to surrender the person as well as on the total duration of the period that a person may be held is custody determined with the Act on Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters with European Union Member States which transposes EU law. In the first instance procedure, the County Court in Karlovac (Županijski sud u Karlovcu) adopted a decision stating that the conditions for surrender were met and prolonged the detention until the execution of transfer.

The Supreme Court confirmed the first instance decision and applied the interpretation of the CJEU Lanigan case C‑237/15 PPU that the executing national courts are required to adopt decision on the EAW after the expiry of the time limits and that the EAW 2002/584/JHA does not preclude the length of the custody when not exessive, in accordance with national law and in light of the Charter. 

Outcome of the case:
The Supreme Court of Republic of Croatia rejected the appeal and confirmed the first instance decision of the court deciding that the obligation to adopt decision on the surrender does not end with the expiry of the time limits to bring decision and that the length of the total duration of custody must be in line with the national law, but the in exceptional circumstances may be prolonged in order to prevent absconding and secure effective surrender until final decision on the surrender is taken.