SAUNDERS LAW DEFEND EXTRADITION REQUEST FOR MURDER CLIENT
On 16 May 2013, District Judge Purdy discharged a request on behalf of the Albanian Government to extradite a man to serve the remaining 23 years of a 25 year sentence imposed for murder in 1995. The request was discharged on the basis that it would contravene Article 3 ECHR and be oppressive due to his mental health condition to extradite him.
Paul Legg and Gemma Lindfield of 7 Bedford Row have been working on this case since March 2012 and visited Tirana in June 2012 to take statements from a number of important witnesses. Furthermore, an application was made by the defence that Skype should be used by the court to hear witnesses give evidence from Albania. This was a landmark decision by Westminster Magistrates Court. Saunders Law Ltd also instructed experts in Albanian law, Albanian society and politics and clinical psychology who provided evidence on behalf of the requested person.
After lengthy proceedings, the Judge concluded that torture was used in order to elicit a confession to the murder. As a result of the torture, the firm's client suffered from complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, exacerbated by the extradition proceedings. The District Judge discharged the request on the basis that if extradited to an Albanian jail he would suffer inhuman and degrading treatment due to his mental condition and the inadequate facilities to treat him. The District Judge concluded these factors would make it oppressive due to his mental health within the meaning of section 91 of the Extradition Act 2003.
This case underscores the importance of public funding and client choice in who represents them, given that it would clearly have been impossible for a litigant in person to present the complex and difficult arguments involved in such a case. The Judge said;
Miss Lindfield and her solicitor Paul Legg (Saunders Law) have left no stone unturned in the fearsome and determined pursuit of advancing, frequently against legal and factual difficulties, the case of their client before this court. They are to be commended for their industry and determination which shows the role of Defence lawyers at their very best.