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Cyprus / Supreme Court, Appeal Jurisdiction / 184/2014

Hadwen James v Attorney General of the Republic

Policy area:
Fight against fraud
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Cyprus / Supreme Court of Cyprus, Appeal Jurisdiction
Decision date:

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.