Monday, July 07, 2008

Elephant in the Room

Where was David Davis today when there was a real case of liberty being raised?

42 days with continual applications to magistrates and the Houses of Parliament doesn't look so tough, compared with being locked in a Greek prison for up to 18 months.

Today, Westminster Magistrates Court delayed the hearing of Andrew Symeou until the 12th August, where hopefully it will be ruled that the evidence by the Greek authorities should be shown to a British court and the defence.

Of course, because of the European Arrest Warrant as long as the right boxes are ticked on the form, there's little that can be done to stop extradition.

Prior to 1989 there were three rules which had to be applied in the UK to protect British citizens.
1) The accuser had to demonstrate that there was a proper case to answer
2) The criminality alleged abroad had to be recognised in the UK.
3) The Home Secretary had to be satisfied that the accuser would have a fair trial in the country requesting the extradition under a proper system of law.

Since the Extradition Act of 1989, implementing the UK's obligations under the European Convention (thanks for that, Tories), this is no longer the case. EU states no longer had to present prima facie evidence of the alleged offence.

Now the European Arrest Warrant merely has to claim that the suspected person is required for the investigation for any one of the 32 named categories of offences covered by the warrant.

Habeas Corpus is not alive and well in the EU. At Tampere the new European Penal Code was introduced (Corpus Juris) and soon to follow is the European Public Prosecutor. This allows for the arrest and imprisonment of British citizens by another EU country based on suspicion alone.

The Labour Government ignored the scrutiny reserve of the House of Lords when they signed up to it, so keen were they to brush aside centuries old rights of this country.

There is a clear case for the UK to have jurisdiction in the case of Andrew Symeou and no one is suggesting that the matter should not be investigated if there is a case to answer. Justice for Jonathan Hiles and his family should be done. But that should be done through a free and fair legal system, not by this awful, dangerous and fascist legislation.

So, Davis: if you really do care about liberty, freedom and justice then come on board. You'd have to admit that the policy of your party was wrong, but if this is about principles then that shouldn't be a problem, should it?

1 comment:

Gallimaufry said...

Any country that locks up plane spotters isn't fit to receive even Gordon Brown's plate scrapings. It's a fair bet that Anthony Charles Lynton Blair will never be extradited to the Hague for war crimes under a European Arrest Warrant.