Success for George Hepburne-Scott in a High Court Extradition Appeal

By: George Hepburne Scott February 14, 2023

On 14 February 2023, George Hepburne-Scott succeeds yet again in an extradition appeal in the High Court.

In the case of Poland v D.O. a District Judge (“DJ”) of Westminster Magistrates’ Court (“Westminster”) had previously ordered the Appellant’s extradition to Poland to fact charges of VAT fraud which were allegedly committed in 2003 – 2005 and allegedly involved approximately £600,000 of tax being evaded through multiple fraudulent vat invoices and tax returns.

On appeal, George argued that the extradition after all these years, in circumstances where the Appellant was not a fugitive, would be oppressive within the meaning of s.14 of the Extradition Act 2003. He further argued that the DJ was incorrect when he failed to take account of the false sense of security that the Appellant would have felt.

Following detailed written and oral submissions at a fully-contested extradition appeal hearing on 14 February, Mrs Justice Steyn DBE delivered the judgment of the High Court. This judgment agreed with George’s submission that the passage of time has created a false sense of security for the Appellant who had raised a child in the meantime. Steyn J agreed that this false sense of security had not been considered by the DJ.

Consequently, the appeal was allowed and the DJ’s order for extradition was quashed.

A copy of the judgment can be found here

George was instructed by Magdalena Motyl of Bark & Co Solicitors

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