Greece - Athens Court of Appeal, 25 April 2013, Application No. 57/2013

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
25-04-2013
Citation:
Application No. 57/2013
Court Name:
Athens Court of Appeal (in Council)
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
ICCPR - Art 7
UNCAT - Art 3
European Convention on Extradition - Art 14
Greece - Constitution - Art. 5
Greece - Presidential Decree No. 114/2010 entitled ‘Refugee status: single procedure for foreigners and stateless persons’ - Art 5
Greece - Σύμβαση της Γενεύης 1951 Νομοθετικό Διάταγμα 3989/1959 (Geneva Convention 1951 Legislative Decree)
Greece - Code of Criminal Procedure - Article 436
Greece - Code of Criminal Procedure - Article 438
Greece - Code of Criminal Procedure - Article 443
Greece - Law 4165/1961
Greece - Law 1782/1988
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Headnote: 

Application from the Turkish Authorities to have the Greek Judicial Authorities issue an extradition notice against A.F., a Turkish citizen seeking asylum in Greece.

The Court ruled against the Turkish Authorities' extradition request, deciding that if the person in question were extradited to Turkey there would be a risk that her situation would be made worse because of her political beliefs and because of her pending application to have her refugee status recognised by the Greek state.

Facts: 

The woman whose extradition was being sought was applying for asylum in Greece and had been a victim of torture by the Turkish authorities, as confirmed by documents from the non-governmental organisation “METADRASI”. The Turkish Authorities asked Greece to extradite her to Turkey to serve her remaining sentence for the offence of being a member of an armed terrorist organisation.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Court (in Council) took into account:

a) the memorandum of objections/reasons prohibiting her extradition to Turkey which she submitted, namely: because of the submission of an asylum application and the pending process of examining it; prohibition of extradition because of the principle of non-refoulement (Article 33 of the 1951 Convention); prohibition of extradition because the person being sought had suffered persecution because of her political opinion; prohibition of extradition because of her well-founded fear that she would suffer torture or some other form of inhuman, degrading or harsh punishment or treatment in contravention of Article 3 of the ECHR and Article 3 of the UN Convention against Torture; prohibition of extradition because it would violate Article 6 of the ECHR; prohibition of extradition because the extradition request would violate the principle of specificity; prohibition of extradition because of the risk that she would be prosecuted for alleged offences other than those contained in the extradition request;

b) the statements by supporting witnesses;

c) the evidence which the person whose extradition was being sought had submitted and invoked and which related to her persecution in Turkey because of her political opinion, as well as references/reports about the prevailing situation in Turkey.

It ruled that: regardless of the seriousness of the crime for which the Turkish authorities were seeking extradition, “there are serious grounds for this Council to believe that if the requested person were to be deported there would be a risk of her situation being made worse by her political opinion. At this point it must also be stressed that the person being sought has an on-going application to the Greek Authorities to be granted political asylum and be recognised as having refugee status. Therefore, in this case and for the above reasons, the requested extradition is prevented by the existence of a risk that the situation of the requested person would be worsened because of her political views. Thus, in accordance with what was held to be true in the preceding legal considerations, this Council believes that it must rule against extraditing the requested person.”     

The same decision revoked the restrictive conditions which had been imposed on the requested person, and also the ban on her leaving the country.

Outcome: 

The decision ruled against the Turkish authorities' extradition request.

Subsequent Proceedings : 

This decision became final because the time limit set for lodging an appeal had lapsed.

Observations/Comments: 

Court composed of:

A. Κ., Appeals President

G. C. and E. S., Appeals Judges

C. P., Deputy Appeals Prosecutor

D. D., Registrar

Other sources cited: 

Decisions by Appeal Committees:

4/129362 of 8.3.2012, 95/50830 of 25.10.2011 , 4/355272 of 22.3.2012, 95/41461 και 95/50707 of 20.4.2012, 95/11753 of 16.5.2012,  95/47930 of 20.4.2012, 95/48607 of 20.4.2011, 95/29847 of 11.2.2011, 95/62446 of 20.4.2011 

Case Law Cited: 

ECtHR - Atmaca v Germany, Application No. 45293/06

Greece - Patras Appeal Council, Application No. 9/2013

Greece - Patras Appeal Council, Application No. 8/2013

Greece - Athens Appeal Council, Application No. 65/2009

Greece - Thessaloniki Appeal Council, Application No. 337/1993

Greece - Supreme Court, Application No. 1303/2011

Greece - Supreme Court, Application No. 276/2011

ECtHR - H.R. v France, Application No. 64780/09

ECtHR - Salduz v. Turkey [GC], Application No. 36391/02

ECtHR - Khaydarov v. Russia, Application No. 21055/09

ECtHR - Daoudi v. France, Application No. 19576/08

ECtHR - Baysakov and Others v. Ukraine, Application No. 54131/08

ECtHR - Cruz Varas & Others v Sweden (Application no. 15576/89)

ECtHR - Mamatkulov Askarov v Turkey, Applications nos. 46827/99 and 46951/99

ECtHR - Ocalan v Turkey (2005) (Application no. 46221/99)