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CJEU Finds German Prosecutor's Office is not Competent to Issue European Arrest Warrants

On 27 May 2019 the Court of Justice of the European Union handed down its judgment in the joined cases of C-508/18 OG, C-82/19 PPU PI and C-509/18 PF.

The cases concerned two Lithuanians and a Romanian national who were challenging the competency of German and Lithuanian Prosecutor's Offices to issue European Arrest Warrants (EAWs).

The Court found that, in the case of Germany, the Public Prosecutor's Office is exposed to the risk of being directed influenced by the executive, for instance the Minister for Justice, in connection with the issuing of EAWs. It therefore found that the Prosecutor's Office in Germany was not competent to issue EAWs.

The result of this has been that on 29 May 2019 Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot discharged a number of Requested Persons subject to European Arrest Warrant requests from Germany to the English courts. This has effectively brought the proceedings in those cases to an end for those Requested Persons, though it remains to be seen whether the Germany Authorities will re-issue EAWs via a judge, rather the prosecutor, in order to rectify the issue.

The CJEU found in their decision that the Public Prosecutor's Office in Lithuania could be considered a competent judicial authority as it could act sufficiently independently of the state in issuing EAWs. Extradition requests from Lithuania have therefore not been affected by the decision.

If you are subject to any extradition request which was issued by a public prosecutor please feel free to contact our Extradition Team for free initial advice on how this decision may affect your case. We can be reached on 0207 842 0650 or extraditionteam@kaimtodner.com

Monday, May 27, 2019

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