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RE HILALI (APPLICATION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS)

The question that a judge in an extradition hearing had to decide was whether the offence specified in the European arrest warrant was an extradition offence, not whether it could be proved. An application for habeas corpus on the ground that, for whatever reason, there was no case to answer in the requested state must always be rejected as having been excluded by the provisions of the Extradition Act 2003.

12 February 2008

The appellant Spanish court appealed against a decision ((2007) EWHC 939 (Admin), (2007) 3 WLR 621) granting a writ of habeas corpus to the respondent (H). Spain had sought H’s extradition on a European arrest warrant for participation in a terrorist organisation. The description of the circumstances in which the offence was allegedly committed consisted of a narrative of evidence of intercepted telephone conversations between H and a third party (Y) who was alleged to be the leader of the conspiracy involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US. A senior district judge ordered H’s extradition.

H appealed unsuccessfully, and the Divisional Court refused to certify a point of law of general importance, so the statutory appeal process came to an end.

Y was subsequently acquitted of direct involvement in the conspiracy. H applied for habeas corpus on the basis that the lawfulness of his extradition order had been undermined, since the evidence against him was...

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