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Polish man's extradition

02 Nov 2018 / Human-rights Print

Man wanted in Poland says he won't get a fair trial

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) has expressed grave concern over the standard of evidential procedures in another EU State in the case of a man facing extradition from here to Poland on alleged drug-trafficking offences. 

The case concerns the requested extradition of Artur Celmer, a Polish national, to Poland under a European Arrest Warrant. Many other EU States have also expressed concern over the relationship in Poland between the government, the judiciary and the courts. This has led to questions about the independence of the judicial system in Poland.

The IHREC has made a submission to the High Court on the matter as part of its role as an amicus curiae to the court. 

In a 43-page documentsubmitted by the Commission to the High Court, the IHREC draws on international and domestic practices to clarify how the court can weigh and assess the evidence in light of the important human rights issues identified in the European Arrest Warrant proceedings.

Recent political changes in Poland have led to serious concerns being raised about the independence of the judiciary, the courts and the Public Prosecutor. Mr Celmer claims that these recent developments in Poland undermine his ability to get a fair trial there.

Following a referral of two questions by the High Court in Dublin to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg, the High Court has been advised by the CJEU that it must make a specific and precise assessment on whether there is a real risk that Mr Celmer’s rights to a fair trial will be breached.

In its submission to the court, the Commission raises concerns about the standard of proof; the burden of proof and the shifting of the burden of proof; the nature of the evidential assessment required, and evidential standards to identify fair trial infringements. 

Mr Celmer is wanted in Poland for alleged drug-trafficking charges in relation to offences in 2007. 

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