Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED July 28, 2003

The district judge had not erred in holding that the person sought for extradition was the applicant.Application for a writ of habeas corpus following an order by District Judge Tubbs on 7 May 2003 to detain the applicant ('O') in custody. O was an asylum seeker with temporary permission to remain in the United Kingdom. The Government of Germany had sought O's extradition in connection with a charge of manslaughter and authority to proceed had been issued on 3 April 2003. On the instant application, O argued that: (i) it was a fundamental requirement of the Extradition Act 1989 that the defendant in question was required to be the person named by the requesting state as the person whose extradition had been sought; (ii) the person who had been named by Germany was Oghionmwam Festus Ogieva-Okumbor ('F') and not O; (iii) the district judge had erred in holding that the person sought for extradition was O as, although the authority to proceed had stated that the person sought was F "aka Mark Richard Osawe", Germany had not identified O as the person sought; (iv) Germany had provided no evidence to link O to the person it had named; and (v) in the alternative, there had been a delay of ten years between the alleged offence and O's arrest and it would be unjust or oppressive to return him to Germany within the meaning of s.11(3) of the Act.HELD: (1) O's name had appeared on the authority to proceed and the district judge had been entitled to take that at face value. It was not open to the district judge to go behind the authority to proceed. There had been no challenge by way of judicial review to the authority to proceed and so the secretary of state had not been required to explain the link between F and O. Moreover, Germany had supplied photographs, which O had admitted as photographs of himself, and evidence of the police indicated that O's fingerprints were the same as F's. Even without the fingerprint evidence, the court was entirely satisfied that the requirements of s.9(8) of the Act had been met and that the person before the district judge had been the person that Germany had sought. (2) Whilst there had been considerable delay, the court was not satisfied that Germany was culpable. Until 2001 Germany had not been aware of any alias or that F had left Germany. It could be inferred that new material came to light during 2002. Given that O would have the protection of German law and the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights, in all the circumstances it would not be unjust or oppressive to return him to Germany.Application refused.