Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf lifted arrest warrant

Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf lifted arrest warrant, Court's Order of 26. 11. 2015 - III-3 AR 153/15- Inadmissibility of extradition based on EAW 

In the present case, we had already obtained an interim injunction at the Federal Constitutional Court on October 7, 2015 and stopped the surrender of a German national at the last minute, although the Belgian authorities had requested the extradition for the prosecution of murder on the basis of a European Arrest warrant. This was necessary because the Higher Regional Court Duesseldorf had declared the extradition admissible before. The application to the German Federal Constitutional Court was the only effective remedy in this situation. In extradition matters interim measures can play an important role in preventing that extradition occurs before the Court is satisfied that the requested extradition would not cause an irreparable and serious violation of the human rights of the applicant.

Nonetheless, this interim injunction of the Constitutional Court also gave an occasion to the Higher Regional Court Duesseldorf to examine a second time the investigations carried out by the Aachen Public Prosecutor in the same case and the court revised its initial decision. After studying the investigation files from the prosecutor's office in Aachen, the extradition court even came to the conclusion that the facts could be better investigated here in Germany than in Belgium. The Court said, it was no longer of significant importance that another suspect had previously been extradited from Germany to Belgium for the same case. On 26 November, the court lifted the arrest warrant and deemed the extradition inadmissible.

Incidentally, in 2014, Belgium caught a great deal of attention with a case at the European Court of Human Rights, when the Belgium government extradited a persecuted man to the United States. The legal community had to take note that time that the Belgian government, despite an interim measure by the ECtHR, decided not to wait for a judgment from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the defendant’s application (Application no. 140/10) against the extradition. In its decision on September 5, 2014, the ECtHR ruled that Belgium violated Article 3 of the Convention by extraditing him to a country where a conviction could carry an irreducible life sentence and said that Belgium failed to honour its commitments to the Convention by extraditing the persecuted man before the ECtHR 's final judgment on the case.

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