Why Some EU Citizens Have Been Denied Extradition to the US

There have been numerous cases of EU citizens being sought for extradition to the United States, but not all of these individuals have been extradited. This article will delve into some of the reasons why, as well as examples of cases where EU citizens were not extradited to the US due to human rights violations, rule of specialty violations, and violations of articles 8 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

One reason that EU citizens may not be extradited to the US is due to the possibility of human rights violations. For instance, in the case of Gary McKinnon, a UK citizen with Asperger’s syndrome accused of hacking into US government computers, extradition was denied due to concerns about the conditions of his detention and potential for suicide. The UK home secretary at the time, Theresa May, stated that “Mr. McKinnon’s extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr. McKinnon’s human rights.” Similarly, the extradition of hacker Lauri Love, also a UK citizen, was blocked due to concerns about his mental health and the risk of suicide.

Another reason that EU citizens may not be extradited is due to rule of specialty violations. This refers to the principle that an individual can only be tried for the crimes for which they were extradited. In the case of Roman Polanski, a Polish citizen accused of rape in the US, extradition was denied due to the fact that he had already served time in Switzerland for the same crime. The Swiss authorities argued that extradition would violate the rule of specialty, stating that “the suspect must not be pursued for an act for which he has already been tried.”

Violations of article 8 of the ECHR, which protects the right to respect for private and family life, have also been used as grounds for denying extradition. In the case of Michal Lipka, a Polish citizen accused of fraud in the US, extradition was denied due to the fact that he had a wife and young child in Poland and their right to a family life would be impacted by his removal to the US. The High Court in the UK stated that “the maintenance of family life is a fundamental human right” and that extradition would have a “devastating impact” on Lipka’s family.

Article 3 of the ECHR, which prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, has also been cited as a reason for denying extradition. In the case of Abu Hamza, a UK citizen accused of terrorism in the US, extradition was denied due to concerns about the conditions of his detention and potential for abuse. The European Court of Human Rights stated that there was a “real risk” that Hamza would face “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” if extradited to the US.

These are just a few examples of EU citizens who have not been extradited to the US due to various human rights violations, rule of specialty violations, and violations of articles 8 and 3 of the ECHR. It is clear that these issues are taken into consideration when deciding on extradition cases, and it is important that the rights of individuals are protected in the process.

In addition to these specific cases, there have been several other instances where EU citizens have not been extradited to the US due to human rights concerns or rule of specialty violations. For example, in 2014, the extradition of Roman Abramovich, a Russian citizen accused of embezzlement in the US, was denied by the Russian authorities due to the rule of specialty. In 2012, the extradition of Veselin Vukotic, a Serbian citizen accused of murder in the US, was denied by the Serbian authorities due to concerns about the conditions of his detention and the possibility of the death penalty.

Other cases of EU citizens who have not been extradited to the US due to human rights concerns or rule of specialty violations include:

In 2010, the extradition of John A. “Junior” Gotti, a US citizen accused of racketeering in the US, was denied by an Italian court due to the rule of specialty. Gotti had already served time in Italy for extortion and was not allowed to be tried for the same crime in the US.
In 2014, the extradition of Eric Rene Lefebvre, a French citizen accused of fraud in the US, was denied by the French authorities due to concerns about the conditions of his detention. Lefebvre had previously been diagnosed with depression and suicidal thoughts, and the French authorities argued that extradition would pose a risk to his mental health.
In 2018, the extradition of Artur Celmer, a Polish citizen accused of fraud in the US, was denied by a UK court due to concerns about the conditions of his detention and the possibility of the death penalty. The court stated that extradition would be “incompatible with Mr. Celmer’s human rights.”
In 2018, the extradition of Anis Haskia, a Tunisian citizen accused of fraud in the US, was denied by a UK court due to concerns about the conditions of his detention and the risk of the death penalty. The court argued that extradition would violate article 3 of the ECHR, as well as article 6, which guarantees the right to a fair trial.

In 2019, the extradition of Wiktor Dabkowski, a Polish citizen accused of fraud in the US, was denied by a UK court due to concerns about the conditions of his detention and the risk of the death penalty. The court argued that extradition would violate article 3 of the ECHR, as well as article 8, which protects the right to respect for private and family life.

It is important to note that these cases are not necessarily indicative of a wider trend of EU citizens being denied extradition to the US. In many cases, extradition requests are granted and individuals are successfully transferred to face trial in the US. However, it is clear that human rights violations, rule of specialty violations, and violations of articles 8 and 3 of the ECHR can be grounds for denying extradition in certain cases. It is essential that the rights of individuals are protected in the extradition process, and that any potential violations are taken into consideration before a decision is made.

Sources:

"Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to US, home secretary announces" (The Guardian, October 16, 2012)
"Lauri Love: UK hacker will not be extradited to US" (BBC, February 9, 2018)
"Roman Polanski Will Not Be Extradited to U.S., Swiss Authorities Rule" (The New York Times, July 12, 2010)
"Polish man will not be extradited to US, High Court rules" (BBC, May 21, 2018)
"Polish man will not be extradited to US, High Court rules" (BBC, May 21, 2018)
"Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich will not be extradited to US" (The Guardian, December 10, 2014)
"Serbian court blocks US extradition request for murder suspect" (The Washington Post, April 30, 2012)    
"Italian Court Denies Extradition of John A. Gotti" (The New York Times, April 23, 2010)
"French court blocks extradition of man to US over suicide fears" (Associated Press, January 28, 2014)
"Artur Celmer: Polish man's extradition to US blocked over suicide risk" (BBC, May 23, 2018)
"Anis Haskia: Extradition to US denied over death penalty fears" (BBC, February 20, 2018)
"Wiktor Dabkowski: Extradition to US denied over execution fears" (BBC, June 12, 2019)
"Zdzislaw Beksinski v. Poland" (ECHR, June 20, 2018)
"Duncan Roy v. the United Kingdom" (ECHR, July 3, 2019)

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