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BRITONS ARRESTED ABROAD WILL LOSE THE RIGHT TO A TRANSLATOR

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BRITONS ARRESTED ABROAD WILL LOSE THE RIGHT TO A TRANSLATOR

Post by jackf on Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:20 am

http://www.fairtrials.net/news/article/britons_arrested_abroad_will_lose_the_right_to_a_translator/

BRITONS ARRESTED ABROAD WILL LOSE THE RIGHT TO A TRANSLATOR

March 12 2010
Telegraph



Britons arrested in Europe will not have the right to demand a full translation of the charges they are facing, under proposals supported by the government.
Britain has backed plans to "dilute" the rights of its citizens when extradited or caught up in criminal proceedings in other European countries.
Justice campaigners say anyone facing criminal allegations abroad under a European Arrest Warrant will be hit by the plan.
The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe has accused Britain of pushing for procedures that do not provide proper protection for suspects.
The CCBE, which represents one million European lawyers, is concerned because the right to translation has been limited to only "essential" documents – a "formula which is too vague and open to abuse".
Under EU legislation, British courts must allow a European Arrest Warrant extradition to take place even if there are concerns about the standards of justice in the country that they are being sent to.
Fair trial campaigners say people will be deported to countries such as Portugal, Hungary, Greece and Bulgaria where charges are made and trials held without an English translation allowing them to follow proceedings.
The European Commission had proposed measures to ensure suspects must be shown a translation of all relevant documents.
Viviane Reding, the European justice commissioner, said: "You cannot have a fair trial if the accused does not understand the language of the proceedings. EU citizens should never feel that their rights are weakened because they left home. Nonetheless, this is what can happen when people are sent abroad to stand trial."
But in a letter, seen by The Daily Telegraph, Britain has joined a group of 13 other governments which are trying to dilute the legislation.
Britain has also supported a loophole that would allow a suspect to give up his rights without a lawyer present and without any written evidence, a move that could easily allow police officers to ignore the translation requirements altogether.
Catherine Heard, Policy Officer at Fair Trials International, said: "Under Europe's fast-track extradition system, we are expected to send our citizens across Europe to face trial without asking too many questions.
"As things stand, there is no guarantee that they will be treated fairly and our cases at FTI demonstrate that many aren't. Until reforms are introduced giving suspects basic rights like access to a lawyer and an interpreter, we will see many more cases of injustice."
A British government spokesman denied the watered-down proposals fall below EU human rights standards. "It is only a proposal and negotiations are not yet over," he said.
A new EU-Britain borders agreement that enters into force next month means that the number of people sent to face justice overseas will treble.
Under Schengen Information II rules anyone who has a European Arrest Warrant issued against them will be automatically taken into custody.

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Re: BRITONS ARRESTED ABROAD WILL LOSE THE RIGHT TO A TRANSLATOR

Post by Rosie on Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:46 am

It is up to people to lobby their MPs to make sure these "proposals" are not put into practice!
We can ask what parts of the proposal our government are going to accept and what parts they are going to veto, but we will have to wait for a while before we do this.
Portugal does not need any excuse to further water down the rights of the individual, as we have seen with the Gary Mann case.

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Re: BRITONS ARRESTED ABROAD WILL LOSE THE RIGHT TO A TRANSLATOR

Post by jackf on Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:02 am

Rosiepops wrote:It is up to people to lobby their MPs to make sure these "proposals" are not put into practice!
We can ask what parts of the proposal our government are going to accept and what parts they are going to veto, but we will have to wait for a while before we do this.
Portugal does not need any excuse to further water down the rights of the individual, as we have seen with the Gary Mann case.

That poor man will find out in the next few days if he is to be extradited to Portugal. It's a disgrace and one which we or one of ours could now face should we be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

http://www.fairtrials.net/news/article/uk_courts_throw_in_the_towel_on_garry_manns_extradition/

26 March 2010

UK COURTS THROW IN THE TOWEL ON GARRY MANN’S EXTRADITION

Garry Mann’s final legal challenge against extradition to Portugal in the UK courts was rejected today by the High Court. An application will now be made to the European Court of Human Rights to prevent the extradition. Garry’s extradition has been put on hold until 1600 BST on 9th April.

Jago Russell, Chief Executive of Fair Trials International, said:
“Despite describing Garry’s extradition as an “embarrassment” the British courts have thrown in the towel and said they are powerless to stop it. Garry’s only hope now lies with the European Court in Strasbourg. We hope they step in and stop Europe’s fast-track extradition system being used to send this man to Portugal to serve a prison sentence imposed after a grossly unfair trial.”

If extradited, Garry (a former fireman from Kent) will be forced to serve a 2 year prison sentence despite the court recognising today the “serious injustice” of his case. Lord Justice Moses, described the case as an "embarrassment" and said: "if there was a case for mediation or grown up people getting their heads together then this is it." The judge said that new evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office “lends force to his belief that a serious injustice" had been committed against Mr Mann.

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Re: BRITONS ARRESTED ABROAD WILL LOSE THE RIGHT TO A TRANSLATOR

Post by dianeh on Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:30 am

How is it that the EU can override a British citizens right to a fair trial? How is it that your govt has given away basic sovereign rights and is failing to protect your citizense?

Even fast tracked extradition by treaty should be prevented by the British court system, if there is a concern over the legalities of the trial, and if there is then it should revert to a full extradition hearing.

I have to question the motives of any govt who signs such a treaty. What did they get for agreeing to these ridiculous things such as fast tracked extradition and no guaranteed translators? Because it surely cannot be ideological. Does this mean that Britain is going to stop providing translators in their own courts as well. I doubt it, so why allow it in other EU countries.

Joining the EU should not reduce the rights of any British citizen.
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