Extradition requests fom UAE are frequently based on accusations of cheque fraud

In the first case (2 AuslA182/17) we could show that the accusation of cheque fraud was not conclusive at all before our client was released from custody on August 4th 2017. In the second case (2 AuslA 206/17), the UAE then withdrew their extradition request on August 24th 2017.

Extradition requests from the UAE are frequently based on accusations of cheque fraud, although it is important to know that cheque fraud in the UAE is seen in a completely different light than in Germany. What is being prosecuted there as cheque fraud is, in our view, by no means always clearly a criminal offence.

While the German law enforcement authorities have not been confronted very often with extradition requests from the UAEs, practice in other countries - especially in the UK - is already well advanced. In particular, extradition requests for alleged cheque fraud have already been rejected by the courts on several occasions.

Among others, the Westminster Magistrates Court refused to extradite to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2015 for the execution of sentences. Here, too, the accusation of cheque fraud was at issue. The court, after hearing experts, based its refusal to extradite on the expected unlawful - contrary to human rights - treatment of the persecuted person in the UAE. Improvements in the legal situation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have now been taken into account, but the experts (Mcgeehan/Davidson) have stated that these reforms have not yet arrived in the daily practice of the courts, the police and the prison system in UAE.

In at least one case I am aware of, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in England filed an appeal against a negative extradition decision with the High Court of Justice (Aministrative Court) in London, which rejected the complaint in June 2012. This decision is particularly instructive because it explains the practice of cheque law in the UAE, which is barely known in German courts.

In England, the "Lodhi" decision of the High Court of Justice in 2008 is still the yardstick when it comes to extradition proceedings in which respect for human rights is at stake. In the "Lodhi vs. Secretary of State For The Home Department" case the prosecuted party had challenged an extradition ruling and brought it before the High Court of Justice (Aministrative Court) in London, which ruled in his favour and refused to surrender the persecuted person to the UAE.

In Spain, in 2015, the Spanish Supreme Court decided to extradite a man to the UAE in a completely different case, accused of having participated in a robbery of a jeweller in 2007 as a member of the "Pink Panther" in Dubai.

In Italy, the Supreme Court has repeatedly refused extradition to the UAE, and in its decision n. 17172 (Cassazione penale, Sec. VI, 30/03/2016 and 30/03/2016, dep. 26/04/2016) explains that not everything which is pursued in the UAE as cheque fraud is, according to Italian standards, in fact also cheque fraud.

In another Italian case, the Court of Appeal in Milan has cited the 2015 United Nations "Report..... on the independence of Judges and Lawyers" to reject extradition to the UAE. In the reasons for the decision, it was emphasised that the report noted trends in the UAE which clearly have a negative impact on extradition , namely deficiencies in the granting of human rights and a lack of trustworthiness of case law.

The NGO "Fairtrials International" has been dealing publicly with Interpol since 2014 on extradition requests from the UAE for alleged cheque fraud and claims that Interpol can be abused by the UAE in these cases. In particular, the UAE would misuse Interpol in civil law cases of unpaid debts or cheques to seize the debtor.

The "Commission for the Controll of Interpole's Files" is prepared to take a differentiated view and, in a decision I have before me, e. g. in March 2017 in a case of alleged cheque fraud, has recommended that an international UAE arrest warrant should be removed from Interpol's lists. This was justified by the commercial (and not criminal) nature of the case and the lack of information on the part of the UAE despite a corresponding request.





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