Beyond the dire impact on British sovereignty that the imposition of rulings from such a deeply political court like the ECJ would have, there are serious human consequences to having any involvement with the EU’s system of extradition. For years, the institution has been wilfully blind to the erosion of the rule of law and human rights in several of its member states. Romania and Bulgaria are simply the worst offenders, with violations also occurring in Greece, Hungary and Poland to name but a few.
This has led to appalling, sustained injustices being meted out on potential suspects where little or no evidence of their guilt has ever or will ever exist.
The Alexander Adamescu case, well known to Home Secretary Priti Patel who is currently considering his appeal for humanitarian protection and to the numerous Conservative backbenchers who have fought a four year battle to highlight his plight, is just the most recent in a long string of such EU extradition horrors.
Adamescu – a bipolar, strongly autistic father of three, living in London for over eight years, has faced a legal ordeal after then Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta launched a politically motivated attack in Romania that resulted in a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for his extradition in 2016. Ponta sought to take down the Adamescu family in order to stop their funding of the outspoken Romania Libera newspaper which was regularly critical of him and to rid himself of a family he saw as political rivals. Exploiting Romania’s lack of judicial independence and the absence of proper safeguards in the EAW system, the Romanian authorities have hounded Mr Adamescu ever since.
The family has already endured the death from sepsis in custody of Alexander’s father, Dan, who was held in Romania’s prison system, which has been described as “dating from the middle ages”.
Despite Alexander’s innocence being attested to by both Sir John Scarlett, former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and Dr August Hanning, former President of the German Intelligence Service (BND), whose separate investigations concluded there was a conspiracy to persecute the Adamescu family at the very highest levels of the Romanian state, the EAW system makes it almost impossible for British judges to refuse to extradite him.
If Britain allows itself to be drawn back into trusting the wide array of hopelessly corrupt, politicised and serial human rights violating judiciaries that form much of the EU membership, we will be opening ourselves up again to hundreds of Adamescu-type cases. The costs – to the taxpayer, to those unfortunate souls caught in the legal net, and to our principles as a country – will be staggering.
Easy extradition with the EU might seem a very tempting prospect to our negotiators, but to paraphrase the Aeneid, “Do not trust the horse, Britons. Whatever it is, I fear the EU even when they bring gifts.”