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Merseyside Police release advice for victims of domestic abuse concerned about staying at home
The domestic violence lockdown is worrying Merseyside Police who are now encouraging everyone to become familiar with options within the 999 system. If people are not free to speak but are able to make a noise or press 55, it alerts the BT operator to the fact that you need help and they can then connect to the police. For example, if you can only make a noise such as tapping the handset, coughing, crying or even talking to the offender, then these actions will alert the attention of the BT operator. Mark Groves, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Domestic Violence, comments on the initiative: During these extremely difficult times, we need victims of domestic abuse to be aware of every initiative that is available to help them. Many victims cannot speak on the phone or even use an app for fear of reprisals from their abuser, but if they can make a covert call to alert the police they are in danger this could save lives. Katha Lunt, experienced domestic abuse lawyer from our Liverpool branch, comments: The message from Merseyside Police is clear. Protection from domestic violence remains a priority during these difficult times. Domestic Violence helplines are reporting a significant increase in telephone calls and visitors to their websites. With the country on lockdown, there is a real risk those suffering domestic violence will feel they have no access to protective measures, at a time when they are being required to spend more and more time with the perpetrator of their abuse. We must ensure the message is received by those who require protection from domestic abuse; help is still available. Since the government’s restriction on all but essential travel, steps have been taken within the Justice System to ensure people continue to have access to urgent protective orders including Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders. Here at National Legal Service Solicitors Liverpool, whilst working from home over… [...]
National Legal Service Solicitors successfully represented person resisting extradition to Lithuania
Extradition Solicitor Noam Almaz, Trainee Solicitor, Sarah Moulange and Paralegal, Shyan MacTavish represented B, a 30-year-old Lithuanian man wanted to serve a long prison sentence for fraud and a serious assault committed when he was 19.
Noam first represented B in 2012 – 2013 – when he successfully argued that the extradition request was void because it had been issued by the Minister of Justice of Lithuania, rather than a court. Noam was the first to identify this point of law and Lithuanian requests are no longer issued in the same way as a result.
Noam and Sarah represented B for a second time in 2018, again securing his discharge. By this point, B had further established himself in this country and had started a family.
In 2019, Lithuania sought B’s extradition for the third time. Sarah Moulange, working with Shyan MacTavish, built a powerful evidential case demonstrating that B should not be extradited, in part because of the arduous legal proceedings over the previous 8 years. The court accepted that the consequences of extradition would be exceptionally severe and he was discharged.
Extradition Defence Experts
Our extradition lawyers have a very high success rate both at preventing Extradition at Westminster Magistrates Court and upon Extradition Appeals
We have defeated dozens of requests from Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania to name but a few examples.
Whatever stage your case has reached, get in touch for a free consultation with one of our specialist extradition solicitors by filling in our contact form or phone us on 0203 6015051 or 0203 763 6696
Sarah Moulange and Noam Almaz represented B, a young Polish man who had come to the U.K. for a better life in 2015, only to be enslaved on his arrival by a criminal gang. He was made to live and work in horrendous conditions.
He managed to escape his captors when a friend told him of a job in another town. On his arrival there, B was again enslaved and made to work without pay.
This case illustrates the astonishing fact that human slavery has not been consigned to the past or to places far away, but instead can be found here and now.
B’s possessions were seized by his traffickers. He did not maintain contact with his probation officer in Poland and a suspended prison sentence imposed prior to his departure for the U.K. was activated as a result.
B eventually managed to escape his captors for a second time. Soon afterwards, he was arrested by police on an European Arrest Warrant issued by the Polish authorities – seeking his return to serve the activated prison sentence.
As might be expected, B was vulnerable after these horrendous experiences.
Sarah and Noam were able to gather the evidence to show that B’s case was truly exceptional and that his extradition would breach his human rights, and those of his partner. As a result, we successfully won his extradition appeal at the High Court, where he was represented by Saoirse Townshend at Temple Garden Chambers.
Extradition Solicitors & Lawyers in London
Our extradition lawyers have a very high success rate both at preventing Extradition at Westminster Magistrates Court and upon Extradition Appeals.
We have defeated dozens of requests from Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, Lithuania and Hungary, to name but a few examples.
We also represent clients wanted in non-EU countries. People we have represented have been wanted in countries ranging from the Australia and Albania to Peru and the United States.
Whatever stage your case has reached, get in touch for a free consultation with one of our specialist extradition solicitors by filling in our contact form or phone us on 0203 601 5051 or 0203 763 6696
Noam Almaz and Sarah Moulange instructed Saorise Townshend of The 36 Group, to appear in an appeal against extradition to Sweden. The client was a single mother of two teenagers, who fled Sweden in an attempt to escape her abusive husband. Sweden’s response was to issue a European Arrest Warrant, seeking her return to stand trial for ‘child abduction’. Her children only wanted to remain with our client and did not want any contact with their father.
At National Legal Service Solicitors, we realise that there is often good reason people come to the UK, even if that journey places them at risk of extradition proceedings.
Sarah and Noam worked tirelessly to demonstrate to the Court that the Client had left Sweden for good reason and with only the interests of her two children in mind. They collated evidence to show the devastating impact the break-up of the family would have on the two teenagers. The case was unsuccessful at the first instance, with the Judge finding that it would be fair to return the mother to Sweden, leaving her two teenagers to potentially go into care.
However, on appeal, following months of preparation and with the assistance of Saorise Townshend, the High Court was persuaded that it would be deeply unfair to separate the children from their mother and granted our client’s appeal, notwithstanding the serious allegations our client faced in Sweden.
Extradition proceedings can be very difficult for clients and their families. It is therefore vital to have expert by your side every step of the way. Our extradition lawyers are each recognised as experts in the field. With many years of practice between them, they are renowned for winning cases, even against the steepest odds.
So, if you face extradition proceedings, or think you may have to in the future, please call us on 0203 601 5051 to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert solicitors.
In another recent success for National Legal Service Solicitors, the Administrative Court overturned a decision to extradite a man to Poland for a second time as a disproportionate interference with his human rights.
Our client had been extradited to Poland in 2009 for an assault offence. He had been released from Polish prison for good behaviour and was free to return to the U.K. It took our client many months to recover from the experience and to re-establish himself in this country.
Some nine years later, the same Polish court – indeed, the same judge – who had dealt with him in 2009 sought our client’s (re) extradition in relation to an offence dating back to 2005. No reason was given as to why this had not been dealt with in 2009. Indeed, the Judicial Authority did not disclose the previous extradition, even when specifically asked about it by the CPS here. It was good fortune that our client had retained documents from 2009 confirming that he had already been extradited to Poland.
At the full hearing, we argued that extradition now would be disproportionate, oppressive and amount to an abuse of process given the apparent lack of candour on the part of the judicial authority. The District Judge rejected these arguments, surprisingly finding our client to be a fugitive from Poland, notwithstanding that he had surrendered to Poland and had been dealt with and released.
The Administrative Court found that there was no evidence to suggest that our client was a fugitive and that it was now far too late to seek his extradition for the 2005 matter. We are delighted that our client will now not have his life disrupted again and can continue to blossom in this country with his family.
Noam Almaz successfully opposed an extradition request from Hungary. In a positive application of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights the Court accepted that our client’s extradition would amount to a disproportionate interference with his and his family’s Article 8 rights.
Our client was a young man of only 14 when who was accused of a crime in 2009 in Budapest, Hungary. He subsequently moved with his parents to the UK and lived here since 2011. In 2018, the Judicial Authorities in Hungary issued a warrant which resulted in a European Arrest Warrant (EAW), the purpose of the EAW being to secure the return of our client to Hungary to face prosecution. Our client was arrested on the EAW and taken to Westminster Magistrates’ Court. We represented him throughout his case and from the beginning advised that he had grounds to successfully oppose his extradition. He was someone who had lived in the UK since 2014, extradition would result in distress to his both his elderly parents partner and young children and also lead to severe financial difficulties to them. In addition the alleged offending in Hungary took place a long time ago and at a time when he was very young. All these arguments were put forward by Noam in Court and gladly these were accepted.
Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights does not guarantee that a person will not be extradited. It only gives a person the opportunity to impress upon the Court the impact that extradition will have on their and their families’ lives.
This was a particularly compelling case, a young father of two, who if extradited would leave behind elderly parents.
Noam Almaz obtained evidence of the impact of the young man’s absence on his family and successfully showed that it would be disproportionate to extradite a young man who had made England his home, for a crime committed when he was a child. The Court accepted all of the evidence put forward and accordingly discharged the EAW. This demonstrates the importance of the Court hearing the story of all those whom extradition will impact.
It is exceptionally hard to convince the UK Courts to doubt the mutual trust they hold in other European countries. The Court have long held that in the absence of ‘clear and cogent evidence’ of the kind approaching an international consensus, the Court will trust that European countries will adhere to their obligations and treat individuals with dignity and respect.
In spite of this the divisional court paused for thought in July 2018 following the case of Shumba, Bechian and Henta v France  EWHC 1762 (Admin), and found that the Appellants faced a real risk of Article 3 breach if extradited to France.
Harun Matin of National Legal Service acted for the third appellant, Mr Henta and with the expertise of Alison MacDonald QC and Emilie Pottle a vast amount of evidence was served to demonstrate to the divisional court that such a real risk existed.
This is a landmark case, as it is the first time in which the UK has considered the conditions of French prisons, following the criticism of such conditions by the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) in April 2017 and the release of statistics suggesting that some of the prisons were at 190% capacity.
The Court held at para. 87 that
“In relation to those four prisons, we are satisfied on the evidence that there may be substantial grounds for believing that the Appellants face a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment if they are extradited”.
As a result the Court chose to adjourn to request further information on the specific risk to the three extraditees.
In November 2018, following a flurry of material served on both sides, the Court sat again to determine if such a real risk would still pertain.
Ultimately the Court found that, on the basis of the further information served by the French Judicial Authority, the risk no longer existed in relation to the appellants. The actions of Allison Macdonald QC (representing Mr Bechian, Mr Shumba and Mr Henta) and Emilie Pottle (representing Mr Henta and Mr Bechian) and Saorise Towshend (representing Mr Shumba) as well as National Legal Service solicitor undoubtedly contributed to the French authorities’ specific guarantees of the three appellants rights, as well as to more generally shine a light on the actions of the French authorities.
The scrutiny of extraditing states is another level of international accountability, essential to protecting and advancing the rights of those detained in custody.