extradition to Italy

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Extradition to Italy is possible on the basis of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW). In fact, there is a great deal of extradition traffic between Germany and Italy.

German nationals may also be extradited to Italy, but only for prosecution, not for execution. In general, a German citizen is only extradited to a member state for criminal prosecution on the basis of an EU arrest warrant, while execution of sentence is to take place in the home country.

In connection with extradition to Italy, however, the special reservations and declarations made by Germany in relation to Italy must be observed. Extradition to Italy for fiscal offences on the basis of a European arrest warrant is possible. The European arrest warrant is exchanged between the German judicial authorities and the Italian Ministry of Justice. Provisional arrest for extradition can be ordered in Germany in anticipation of extradition to Italy on the basis of a European arrest warrant.

Extradition lawyer on criminal procedural law in Italy

In Italy, the police have extensive powers to arrest suspects, but the measures must be confirmed by a judge within 48 hours. Italy has a multi-instance system of appeals against an arrest warrant. In criminal proceedings in Italy, the principle of freedom of self-incrimination applies. In investigative proceedings, however, there are practically no rights of presence of the accused or his defender during witness interrogations or other investigative acts, unless these are carried out by a judge to ensure their later usability in the main hearing. In this respect, the situation is comparable to that in Germany.

German extradition lawyer on onditions of detention in Italy

Prison conditions in Italy, however, cannot be compared with those in Germany; Italian prisons suffer from chronic overcrowding. Therefore it was no surprise that the European Court of Human Rights in the case Torreggiani et al./. Italy (ECHR of 8 January 2013, Torreggiani et al./. Italy) found a violation of Art. 3 ECHR. The complaints were overcrowding, lack of access to hot water and, in some cases, a lack of light in the cells. Systemic shortcomings were identified. By means of a pilot judgment, the ECtHR set Italy a period of one year under Article 46 of the ECHR within which the conditions of detention must be adapted to the requirements of the ECHR. In a subsequent judgment (ECtHR of 25.09.2014), the ECtHR found that Italy had already taken measures to remedy the structural shortcomings. Extradition traffic between Germany and Italy continues.

Extradition lawyer on judgements rendered in absentia

More recently, one of the most important decisions of the German Federal Constitutional Court on extradition law concerned extradition on the basis of an Italian decision rendered in absentia (BVerfG - 2 BvR 2735/14 -). The persecuted had explained in detail that, contrary to the opinion of the Prosecutor General, Italian procedural law did not give him the possibility of obtaining a new hearing of evidence after extradition. In the opinion of the Federal Constitutional Court, the Higher Regional Court should not have allowed it to be sufficient for a new hearing of evidence in Italy "at any rate not excluded". Following a decision rendered in absentia in the requesting State, the persecuted person must be guaranteed the possibility of influencing the proceedings and defending himself (BVerfG - 2 BvR 2735/14 -).

OLG Braunschweig (decision of 27.09.2016 - 1 AR (foreign) 10/16 ) on extradition to Italy, in particular on the admissibility of extradition for execution in Italy despite the threat of life imprisonment and despite previous conviction and execution in Bosnia Herzegovina for the same act.


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