Justice 4 ALL Madeleine McCann Family
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PORTUGUESE JUSTICE? -Mail on Sunday

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PORTUGUESE JUSTICE? -Mail on Sunday

Post by christabel on Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:16 pm

Taken from

http://justathoughtyouknow.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=guests&action=display&thread=584

'My husband's a hero, not a football thug': Wife's anguish after British fireman is jailed in Portugal for crime he 'did not' commit'


Last updated at 2:02 AM on 1st August 2010
By Julie Cross

A retired British fireman twice commended for bravery but now in jail in Portugal is the victim of an extraordinary betrayal by British politicians and the European legal system, according to his partner.
Speaking out for the first time, Suzanne Lloyd-Baker said flaws in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) legislation have left Garry Mann, 52, jailed for a crime he did not commit after a highly questionable trial process – and that others could suffer the same fate.
Mr Mann was arrested after a disturbance in the Algarve resort of Albufeira during the 2004
European Championships and convicted of football hooliganism by a specially convened court – in which the only interpreter was a local hairdresser.

Lost freedom: Suzanne and Garry Mann - seen here on holiday in 2007 - had no suspicion his holiday was in jeopardy as a result of the 2004 conviction

The England fan has always protested his innocence, but given the choice of being deported or serving a jail sentence in Portugal, he chose to be deported.

He returned to the UK in 2004 to resume his normal life in the belief that the matter was settled.
Yet in May he began a 24-month term in a prison in Portugal, after the authorities there changed their mind last year and decided he should be jailed after all and so issued an EAW: a fast-track, no-questions-asked extradition procedure introduced in 2002 to tackle terrorism cases.
‘We still can’t believe this has happened to us. We’re just an ordinary hard-working family,’ said Ms Lloyd-Baker, 40, his partner of eight years.

‘It isn’t easy for me talking like this, but I’d never forgive myself if I hadn’t tried everything I could to bring him back.’

She is lobbying the Government to take up her campaign for his release. His cause has the support of a senior judge who called the case a ‘travesty of justice’, and campaigners Fair Trials International (FTI).
After seeing England’s first 2004 tournament match in Lisbon, Mr Mann went to Albufeira to meet up with brother Mark and some friends.

At about 1am on June 15, a riot broke out in the town. Mr Mann says he was nowhere near the trouble and entirely unaware of it at the time. He insists he was in a bar and says that he has witnesses to prove it.
When he left the bar at about 4am, several hours after the riot, he was arrested by two police officers who claimed he was involved.

Under pressure: Suzanne, centre, with daughters, including Charlie, far right

His family fear his shaven head and powerful build may have gone against him. Within 48 hours, he was arrested, charged and convicted of inciting a riot.

He stood in the dock at a hastily convened court with 11 other suspects all represented by just one lawyer.

They understood little of the proceedings, ineffectively translated by a hairdresser friend of the judge’s wife. Mr Mann says he became aware of the charges against him only a few minutes before he was convicted.
‘The deal, as far as we understood, was Garry was not allowed back to Portugal for a year, otherwise he’d have to serve two years in prison,’ said Ms Lloyd-Baker. ‘That was fine by us as he had no plans to go back.’
Mr Mann, from Faversham, Kent, had been in the news before – but only for receiving two Chief Fire Officer Commendations for bravery in the line of duty, once attempting to save the lives of a family of seven, receiving burns to his hands, wrists and chin.

'In 1987, his work raising large sums for charity was rewarded with an invitation to No 10 by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
In the furore following Mr Mann’s conviction, then Home Secretary David Blunkett declared he was frustrated with the lenient punishment and that he wanted to ‘nail him’.
‘Garry was all over the news. He was vilified by everyone,’ Ms Lloyd-Baker said. The police applied for a worldwide football banning order to stop Mr Mann travelling to matches abroad.

'But in 2005, Uxbridge magistrates refused to grant it after evidence of serious flaws in the 2004 trial.

'At the hearing, Detective Constable Alan Rutter, an experienced officer who represented UK police in Portugal 2004 and was in the riot court, called the trial ‘a farce’.
Mr Mann was able to return to some semblance of normality, continuing to work as a fireman. But early last year he learned an EAW had been issued after Portuguese courts decided he should go to jail after all.
‘We couldn’t believe what was happening,’ Ms Lloyd-Baker said. ‘Garry appealed against extradition. It was a long process with more than 30 court appearances. For over a year, we were living with our lives in limbo.’
Reviewing the case, Appeal Court judge Lord Justice Moses said Mr Mann had suffered a ‘travesty of justice’, calling the situation an ‘embarrassment’ to Portugal and the UK, but British courts were powerless to stop the extradition.
Mr Blunkett has now had second thoughts, saying he regrets his ‘premature’ comments in 2004.
‘I admit I was injudicious in my initial remarks regarding Garry Mann,’ he told The Mail on Sunday.

Hero fireman: Garry poses for a photograph with Margaret Thatcher in 1987

He believes the EAW, which he pushed to bring in, needs to be overhauled as it was intended for absconders, not those already convicted and released.

He said he was also unhappy about warrants executed many years after alleged events, saying he would like to see a time limit imposed. Jago Russell, chief executive of FTI, also says the EAW needs to be reviewed.
‘It’s removed all political discretion in extradition decisions,’ he said. ‘It was intended to deliver justice, but the current system is actually resulting in cases of serious injustice.’
FTI hopes to send a delegation to Portugal to argue for a pardon for Mr Mann. Around 30 prisoners in Portugal receive a pardon annually, usually around Christmas.
Mr Russell says in 2008, extraditions from the UK to other EU states numbered 515.
That is predicted to rise by 250 per cent when a new EU information-sharing scheme comes into force soon. He says other cases prove the EAW is failing the innocent.
In June, UK-based father-of-three and chef Edmond Arapi was found innocent of murder after having been given a 16-year sentence in his absence in Italy.

Despite proof he was in Britain at the time of the murder, an EAW was issued. He spent weeks in custody in the UK before getting bail.

Only when Italian authorities realised they had fingerprint evidence of his innocence were charges dropped and the warrant withdrawn.
Ms Lloyd-Baker, who met twice-divorced Mr Mann in 2002 and worked with the disabled before becoming a nurse, says the family will never get over the ordeal.

It has been a particularly traumatic time for the couple’s six daughters – two of Mr Mann’s and four of Ms Lloyd-Baker’s from previous relationships – three of whom were in the middle of exams when he was extradited.
Mr Mann retired as a fireman after extradition proceedings began.

After losing the final appeal, Ms Lloyd-Baker said he had only a week to prepare before he had to give himself up at Heathrow. ‘It didn’t really hit us till he was gone,’ she said. ‘No one sat in his chair at the table for ages. It became an issue, so we agreed to take turns to sit in it. We really miss him.’

Her daughter Charlie, 19, said: ‘It’s hard that someone who means so much to us has been taken away.’
Ms Lloyd-Baker is exploring options, including getting a transfer to a UK jail. ‘I wanted to tell our story as we want any chance to get him home quicker. He’s been terribly let down by our Government and courts. I only hope the new Government do the right thing to review this dreadful law and help get him home soon.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1299195/Hero-fireman-wrongly-jailed-Portugal-football-thug-says-wife.html

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Re: PORTUGUESE JUSTICE? -Mail on Sunday

Post by Pedro Silva on Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:44 pm

I agree, the new government has the obligation to help solve this situation. He has the obligation of solve every situation regarding British citizens abroad, surely that the oldest friendly alliance between both countries should be used to help solve cases like Madeleine McCann, also like this British firemen´s case.

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Re: PORTUGUESE JUSTICE? -Mail on Sunday

Post by vee8 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:10 am

Once he is released I hope he sues everyone involved.
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Re: PORTUGUESE JUSTICE? -Mail on Sunday

Post by Cath on Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:37 am

May be someone could tell Marcos about this man?
He seems to be a kind man who's fighting injustice.

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Re: PORTUGUESE JUSTICE? -Mail on Sunday

Post by bluj1515 on Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:59 am

I think the biggest issue is issuing the EAW only last year. That's ridiculous. He was out of the country and isn't accused of directly harming anyone or even a business, etc. He didn't beat someone up. He allegedly participated in the "riot" but he's not even directly accused of it. The deportation should have been enough. People do less time for this for real crimes.
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