George Hepburne-Scott wins in groundbreaking Japanese extradition case.

By: George Hepburne Scott August 29, 2023

On 11 August 2023, following multiple contested hearings spanning two years, George’s client, J.C. was discharged at Westminster Magistrates’ Court by the Chief Magistrate of England and Wales.

The case involved an unprecedented extradition request made by the Government of Japan to the UK’s Home Secretary for the extradition of J.C. in respect of a robbery of a jewellery store in Tokyo in November 2015. J.C. was alleged to have been involved with others in carrying out the robbery which is alleged to have netted c.£670,000 worth of jewellery.

The extradition request raised a number of novel and complex issues and was resisted on multiple fronts before the Chief Magistrate who ruled on each of them in favour of the defence, resulting in the ultimate discharge of the defendant on 11 August. In essence the Judge ruled that: (a) the Government of Japan had not properly established a prima facie case against the Defendant due to admissibility issues with the putative identification evidence, (b) extradition constituted a risk of a breach of articles 3, 4, 5 & 6 the European Convention on Human Rights, and (c) the formal assurances provided by the Govt of Japan (pursuant to the case of Aranyosi) were insufficient to properly allay the risks of the identified human rights breaches.

The Govt of Japan has indicated that it will appeal these decisions and therefore the case will now proceed to the High Court.

George was led by Mark Summers, KC of Matrix and both counsel were instructed by Lisa French of Foxes Solicitors

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