extradition to Italy averted - OLG Düsseldorf overturns extradition warrant

Our client from Albania was arrested in Düsseldorf in March 2017 on the basis of a European arrest warrant from Italy. There he was accused of drug trafficking in large quantities. On April 04. 2017, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf issued an extradition warrant (III - 3 AR 59/17) against him in the expectation that his extradition to Italy would follow shortly.

But the case was different than expected. We were able to prove that the person being prosecuted had already been sentenced to a high prison sentence in Albania, which he had also served there, for the same offence. The Public Prosecutor's Office in Düsseldorf (4 AuslA 49/17) did not initially accept the argument that the principle of the forbidden double punishment "ne bis in idem" precluded an extradition to Italy from the outset and waited far too long for an opinion from Italy.

The prosecutor`s relatively slow approach is why the defense challenged the European arrest warrant in Italy in parallel. Only after the Milan Public Prosecutor's Office in Milan had revoked the European arrest warrant on 24 May 2017 - expressly because of the prohibition of double jeopardy - did the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court follow on the same day with the annulment of the extradition warrant.



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