Extradition: I didn’t attend my original trial, can I have a retrial?
Some of those facing extradition may not have attended their original trial – but does this mean they are entitled to a retrial? The experts at JFH Crime investigate.
In a recent case we dealt with, our client had left his home country as he was being threatened by other people and was in fear for his life (he had won a kick boxing fight where a large amount of money had been bet on his opponent to win). When he left, he had never been questioned, arrested or appeared in court for the offence that he was wanted for.
The first time he knew about it was many years later. He found out when his mum told him a letter had arrived saying he had a three-year sentence. He was arrested in this country over 10 years after the offence had allegedly occurred. The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) gave no guarantees of a retrial.
The prosecution argued that the client had deliberately avoided the trial. The District Judge decided that he had not, and that he must be guaranteed a retrial. Because the EAW did not give him the necessary guarantee, he was discharged and able to stay in this country.
When a retrial is guaranteed
Many people who face extradition are wanted to serve sentences for offences that they were convicted of at a trial that they did not go to. If that is the case, the person must be guaranteed the right to a retrial, otherwise extradition cannot take place.
The one exception to that guarantee is if the person has deliberately avoided the trial, usually by leaving the country. If that is the case, then there is no need for a retrial to be guaranteed.
If you want to learn more about other aspects of extradition, read our guide to the basics here.
Expert guidance for extradition law in the UK
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with JFH Crime to discuss your extradition matter with us further, or to find out whether you would be eligible for legal aid. We have a dedicated team of lawyers specialising in extradition here to help you and are available twenty-four hours a day for all your extradition needs.
With a dedicated presence at Westminster Magistrates Court, we actively work to halt proceedings at the earliest possible stage, and take pride in bringing decades of experience to the table. Contact us today to see how our tailored services can help you.
Please note that the information contained in this article was correct at the time of writing. There may have been updates to the law since the article was written, which may affect the information and advice given therein.