Cyprus / Supreme Court, Appeal Jurisdiction / 184/2014 Hadwen James v Attorney General of the Republic

Key facts of the case:

In 2011 the government of Malta issued a European arrest warrant against the appellant in order to prosecute him for money laundering, which is also a crime in Cyprus. He was arrested in Cyprus in 2014 on the strength of a national arrest warrant and was presented in Court for verification of his identity and for execution of the European arrest warrant. The trial court granted him his request for an adjournment in order to call an expert witness from Malta to testify that the offence for which he was arrested was time-barred. At the next court hearing, the appellant asked for another adjournment in order to call further witnesses to testify that the Maltese authorities had exceeded their powers; that the Maltese official who signed the arrest warrant had no power to do so; that there are jurisdictional issues; and that the delay violates his right to privacy and to family life. The court rejected his request and approved the execution of the arrest warrant. The appellant appealed against this decision, on the ground that he was denied the right to a fair trial, the right to be heard, the right to present testimony to prove the abuse of process and the delay in the issue of the European arrest warrant, and the right to challenge the lawfulness of his detention under article 5(4) of the ECHR. The appellant also alleged that the European arrest warrant should not be executed because he was deprived of his right to a defence and because the offence in question took place outside Malta for which the English Courts had jurisdiction. The appellant argued that articles 5 and 6 of the ECHR and the corresponding articles 6 and 47 of the EU Charter are directly applicable, despite the fact that the Council Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States 2002/584/JHA does not specifically refer to the ECHR safeguards as a precondition for executing a European arrest warrant.

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

 

In this case the learned counsel for the appellant suggested that the human rights protected by Articles 5 and 6 of the ECHR and the corresponding articles 6 and 47 of the EU Charter apply. We do not disagree, since the provisions of the Charter are part of primary Union law... But we must also point out, adopting part of the reasoning of the Opinion of Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston in the preliminary question of the case of Ciprian Vasile Radu, case C-396/11, dated. 18.10.2012 ... that: - “[T]he high level of mutual confidence between Member States referred to in recital 10 is predicated on the observance by each of the Member States both of the rights enshrined in the Convention and of the fundamental rights which form part of the constitutional traditions common to the Member States. With effect from the coming into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009, it is now necessary to add – to the extent that it did not previously already have a role to play – the Charter.” The risk of placing additional criteria to what the legislature incorporated the Framework Decision and the Law under the guise of protecting human rights or otherwise can be either, , will have the effect of undermining the simplified mechanism of the surrender of persons introduced by the above Framework Decision. At the Grand Chamber decision in the landmark case of Ciprian Vasile Radu, Case no. C-396/11, dated 29.1.2013, the CJEU stressed that… “…[T]he observance of Articles 47 and 48 of the Charter does not require that a judicial authority of a Member State should be able to refuse to execute a European arrest warrant issued for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution on the ground that the requested person was not heard by the issuing judicial authorities before that arrest warrant was issued.”

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter (original language): 

 

Στην προκειμένη περίπτωση ο ευπαίδευτος συνήγορος του Εφεσείοντος εισηγήθηκε ότι εφαρμόζονται τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα που προστατεύονται από τα άρθρα 5 και 6 της ΕΣΔΑ και τα αντίστοιχα άρθρα 6 και 47 του Χάρτη της ΕΕ. Δεν διαφωνούμε, εφόσον οι διατάξεις του Χάρτη αποτελούν μέρος του πρωτογενούς δικαίου της Ένωσης…Όμως θα πρέπει ταυτόχρονα να υποδείξουμε, υιοθετώντας μέρος του σκεπτικού των προτάσεων της Γενικής Εισαγγελέως Eleanor Sharpston στο προδικαστικό ερώτημα στην υπόθεση Ciprian Vasile Radu, Υπόθεση C-396/11, ημερ. 18.10.2012, … ότι:- “… [T]ο υψηλό επίπεδο εμπιστοσύνης μεταξύ των κρατών μελών, στο οποίο αναφέρεται η δέκατη αιτιολογική σκέψη, βασίζεται στον σεβασμό, εκ μέρους όλων των κρατών μελών, τόσο των δικαιωμάτων που κατοχυρώνονται με τη Σύμβαση όσο και των θεμελιωδών δικαιωμάτων που απορρέουν από τις κοινές συνταγματικές παραδόσεις των κρατών μελών. Από 1ης Δεκεμβρίου 2009, ημερομηνία έναρξης της ισχύος της Συνθήκης της Λισσαβόνας, προστέθηκε -στο μέτρο που κατά το παρελθόν δεν λαμβανόταν υπόψη συναφώς- και ο Χάρτης.… Ο κίνδυνος να τεθούν, είτε υπό τον μανδύα της προστασίας των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, είτε άλλως πως, πρόσθετα κριτήρια σ' αυτά που ο νομοθέτης ενσωμάτωσε στην Απόφαση-Πλαίσιο και στο Νόμο, θα έχει ως αποτέλεσμα να υπονομευθεί ο απλουστευμένος μηχανισμός παράδοσης εκζητουμένων προσώπων που εισήχθη με την πιο πάνω Απόφαση-Πλαίσιο. Το ΔΕΕ στην απόφαση της Μείζονος Συνθέσεως στην πολύ σημαντική υπόθεση Ciprian Vasile Radu, Υπόθεση C-396/11, ημερ. 29.1.2013, τόνισε ότι… “[H] τήρηση των άρθρων 47 και 48 του Χάρτη δεν επιβάλλει να αναγνωρίζεται στη δικαστική αρχή κράτους μέλους το δικαίωμα να μην εκτελέσει ευρωπαϊκό ένταλμα σύλληψης το οποίο έχει εκδοθεί στο πλαίσιο της άσκησης ποινικής δίωξης, για τον λόγο ότι δεν παρασχέθηκε από τις δικαστικές αρχές έκδοσης στον καταζητούμενο δυνατότητα ακρόασης πριν την έκδοση του εντάλματος αυτού.”

Language: 
Greek
Deciding body (original language): 
Ανώτατο Δικαστήριο Κύπρου, Δευτεροβάθμια Δικαιοδοσία
Language: 
Greek