Extradition to France rejected due to prison conditions

Extradition to France rejected due to prison conditions

Imran Khan and Partners acted for a man who was facing extradition to the French Overseas territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique under a European Arrest Warrant. On 1st of May 2014 ,District Judge Purdy sitting at City of Westminster Magistrates Court, ordered the discharge of Dominican citizen Kurtis Richards after hearing evidence that conditions in the prisons in Guadeloupe and Martinique breached article 3 of the Human Rights Act which prohibits’ torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’ Guadeloupe and Martinique are administratively part of France and are subject to French Law including the European Convention on Human Rights.

District Judge Purdy relied on evidence from 10 judgments made by the administrative court of Bordeaux where civil cases had been brought by prisoners held in Guadeloupe and Martinique who described filthy and vermin infested conditions. The French authorities denied an independent defence expert to access to the prisons.

The Crown Prosecution Service, who were instructed by the French Judicial authority, had 7 days from the judgment to appeal and no appeal has been lodged.

Margaret Gordon of Imran Khan and Partners and Ben Cooper of Doughty Street Chambers acted for Mr Richards assisted by Awani Patel and Charlie Burnett also of Imran Khan and Partners.

The case has been reported in the Guardian and Le Monde .