A wheelchair-bound woman represented by the Extradition Team at Lansbury Worthington successfully resisted her extradition to Poland, with the Westminster Magistrates’ Court’s finding that it would be oppressive, unjust and disproportionate to order her removal.
The woman was wanted to stand trial for offences allegedly committed in Poland in 2000 and 2001. It was said that she issued false employment certificates to enable the recipients to obtain bank loans. She was also accused of cashing cheques at her own branch when lacking sufficient funds in her account.
The woman had been a victim of serious domestic violence in the UK at the hands of her now ex-husband; later, she fell in an accident at home, leaving her with permanent back injuries. Her disabilities render her wheel-chair bound and dependent upon full-time carers to attend to her daily needs.
Despite her self-evident disabilities, bail was originally refused at the magistrates court; she spent hours in the court cells. Bail was reluctantly granted once the real difficulties the prison and court staff would have in caring for her were pointed out, as well as the patent lack of flight risk.
During the currency of the case, the Polish authorities withdrew the allegations in relation to the cashing of cheques, which the woman had argued were not criminal offences in the UK. Of note, the Polish court accepted the woman’s submissions that she could not be imprisoned because of her disabilities and care needs.
That ruling left the Crown Prosecution Service in difficulty in trying to justify the proportionality of extradition, in custody, of a woman for conduct which could not lead to a custodial sentence.
In discharging the warrant, the Court acknowledged the inherent oppression in executing this request, so long after the fact and where there was no evidence the woman had ever fled Poland or sought to conceal her identity.
In Poland v MF Malcolm Hawkes of Doughty Street Chambers was the instructed Counsel. Kamila Kwincinska who worked on this case alongside Malcolm Hawkes is an experienced extradition paralegal and also a fluent Polish speaker.
How we can assist
The law concerning requests for extradition can be complicated. At Lansbury Worthington we have an experienced team of lawyers who work along side some of the best extradition barristers in the country.
If you have any concerns or simply want to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact our specialist Extradition Team or Giovanna Fiorention on 0208 563 9797 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.