On 11/07/2023, the Appeal Court in Cyprus heard a case where the Russian Federation had requested the extradition of a Russian in order to stand trial for the crime of theft of funds from the federal budget and for knowingly providing false and misleading information when recovering compensation in connection with the known Chernobyl accident.
The accused substantially based his argument requesting his release and non-extradition, on the decision in the Petition for the issuance of DAA v. the Republic of Cyprus in which it was held that the granting of guarantees by the Russian Federation for the conduct of a fair trial, based on the ECHR, could no longer be considered sufficient, precisely because the Russian Federation was in complete isolation from the European legal order and European legal culture, and especially because of the fact that the Russian Federation ceased to be a member of the ECHR and its citizens do not have access to the ECHR. Given this, any assurances from Russia could not be considered satisfactory.
But according to ECtHR caselaw, the burden is on the accused seeking to avoid extradition to prove that there are reasonable grounds to believe that he will suffer torture, or ill-treatment, or that he will not receive a fair trial, or that in general his human rights will be violated. Such danger must be demonstrated by evidence, on the basis of which one can reasonably conclude that the danger is visible and real and not just a mere possibility. In this case, the accused, apart from general problems arising out of the situation in the Russian Federation, did not put forward any allegation demonstrating any risk that any of his rights would be violated if he were handed over to face trial in his home country. It was fatal that it was not pleaded nor proved that his return to the Russian Federation entailed a real risk of adverse treatment, or a violation of his human rights, due to racial, religious, ethnic, political or any other adverse discrimination. For this reason, the applicant was ordered to remain in custody until his extradition to Russia was granted.
More recently on 03/11/2023, the Appeal Court of Cyprus was examining a decision to extradite a well-known Israeli business magnate to Romania following a European Arrest Warrant. The Court found that there was enough evidence and reports before it to find that there is a systemic problem in the prison system of Romania. However, this fact alone is not enough to reject the extradition of a person, but a further question must be answered, whether under the specific circumstances of the case, there is apparent danger that the person might suffer inhumane or degrading treatment in the country to be extradited. The Court answered the second question finding that it cannot rule out the apparent risk that if extradition is granted the accused might face inhumane or degrading treatment during his imprisonment in Romania and therefore extradition was denied and the defendant was released.
Our office has handled various extradition cases. For more info and advice regarding the law of extradition in Cyprus, contact us at email@example.com