The UAE this month, failed in their attempts to extradite a British national from the UK for allegations of fraud. The defendant was located via an Interpol Red Notice, a system that the UAE has been a long term abuser of, even to the point of reporting individuals for small credit card debts.
Following the notice, British authorities arrested the man at his home in England. He was bailed but ordered to wear an electronic tag, quite unusual in the UK but was on the basis that he had no fixed address, due to the nature of his employment that required him to travel throughout the country.
Despite undergoing what is clearly a very stressful situation, he was in good spirits throughout proceedings, knowing he had an experienced team to support him including Ben Cooper of Doughty Street Chambers instructed by San Khan Solicitors, an extradition specialist who has successfully defended a number of requests from the UAE.
Following the UK's High Court precedent of Lodhi, no individual has been extradited to the UAE, based particularly on the UAE's inability to disprove allegations of discrimination, lack of fair trials and that human rights may be violated in the event the request were approved.
Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai and expert witness in extradition and civil cases originating from the UAE said "The UAE has not taken their own extradition requests seriously. They have failed to extend evidence to the courts to counter allegations of human rights violations and have not supported their own counsel. The Magistrate's ruling in the last hearing I attended went so far as to chastise the UAE government for failing to support their legal team. This case is further evidence that the UAE continues to report individuals to Interpol with no serious intent to actually extradite them. It is more used as a tool for the disgruntled claimant to extort funds from the defendant".
The Judgment in this case said "the UAE has maintained a policy followed before this court in recent years, of not responding to defence expert material or providing any instructions save to insist on the pursuit of this request". The ultimate ruling provided that the defendant was at real risk of torture and human rights violations in the event he were extradited to the UAE. This concludes yet another failed extradition request.
Stirling continued "The UAE government's failure to provide evidence in extradition cases is congruent with the way they respond to Interpol notices. We have seen several clients arrested in various jurisdictions based on Interpol reports. The arresting country has requested further information or instruction from the UAE and in many cases, the UAE has declined to respond at all. Using Interpol without the intent to pursue extradition is a serious abuse of their membership. In the same way, failing to take their own proceedings seriously is costing the British taxpayer millions per year in court time and legal aid costs. At the same time, the individual who has been erroneously placed on Interpol has suffered greatly with no avenue for compensation. Most of the cases being reported by Interpol are not even considered crimes outside of the Middle East, they are considered civil matters".
Every week, we receive new clients who have been wrongfully reported to Interpol. It is an ongoing issue and it is up to Interpol to enforce their own policies with their member countries. Until this happens, each person needs to be defended on a case by case basis. Right now, one British woman is detained in Italy for a 15,000 euro debt, courtesy of the UAE. This is a wrongful detention and breach of the UAE's agreement with Interpol.
We congratulate Ben Cooper and team for their dedication and professionalism. We look forward to ultimate change but in the mean time, preventing as many wrongful arrests and reports as possible.