Iwona Skrzypczak v The Circuit Court in Poznan (A Polish Judicial Authority)

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtQueen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
JudgeMr Justice Foskett
Judgment Date12 May 2011
Neutral Citation[2011] EWHC 1194 (Admin)
Docket NumberCase No: CO/1520/2011

[2011] EWHC 1194 (Admin)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION

ADMINISTRATIVE COURT

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Before:

Mr Justice Foskett

Case No: CO/1520/2011

Between:
Iwona Skrzypczak
Appellant
and
The Circuit Court in Poznan (A Polish Judicial Authority)
Respondent

Malcolm Hawkes (instructed by Sonn Macmillan Walker) for the Appellant

Myles Grandison (instructed by Crown Prosecution Service) for the Respondent

Hearing dates: 5 May 2011

Mr Justice Foskett

Introduction

1

The Appellant is a Polish citizen.

2

Her extradition to Poland is sought by the Circuit Court in Poznan ('the Respondent') in connection with allegations of fraud and forgery over a period ending in February 2005. The European Arrest Warrant ('EAW') was issued by Judge Tomasz Borowczak on 10 March 2010 and certified by the Serious Organised Crime Agency on 29 July 2010. I will refer to its terms in more detail below.

3

The Appellant was arrested pursuant to the EAW on 6 October 2010 and produced before District Judge Riddle sitting at the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on the following day. No issues were raised under sections 4 or 7 of the Act. The Extradition Hearing was formally opened, but adjourned in order to enable her case to be argued fully. She was remanded on conditional bail.

4

The substantive Extradition Hearing took place on 2 December before District Judge Zani. The Appellant resisted extradition on the grounds that the warrant was insufficiently particularised having regard to the provisions of section 2(4)(c) and (d) and 2(6)(d) of the Extradition Act 2003. It was contended that the EAW was invalid.

5

Having heard oral argument from Mr Malcolm Hawkes, who appeared for the Appellant, and Mr Adam Harbinson, who then appeared for the Respondent, he reserved judgment. Judgment was handed down on 11 February 2011. The District Judge rejected the Appellant's challenges to the EAW and ordered her extradition to Poland.

6

She appeals to this court against that decision pursuant to section 26 of the Act.

Section 2 of the Act

7

The relevant parts of section 2 of the Extradition Act 2003 are as follows:

(2) A Part 1 warrant is an arrest warrant which is issued by a judicial authority of a category 1 territory and which contains —

(a) the statement referred to in subsection (3) and the information referred to in subsection (4), or

(b) the statement referred to in subsection (5) and the information referred to in subsection (6).

(3) The statement is one that —

(a) the person in respect of whom the Part 1 warrant is issued is accused in the category 1 territory of the commission of an offence specified in the warrant, and

(b) the Part 1 warrant is issued with a view to his arrest and extradition to the category 1 territory for the purpose of being prosecuted for the offence.

(4) The information is —

(a) particulars of the person's identity;

(b) particulars of any other warrant issued in the category 1 territory for the person's arrest in respect of the offence;

(c) particulars of the circumstances in which the person is alleged to have committed the offence, including the conduct alleged to constitute the offence, the time and place at which he is alleged to have committed the offence and any provision of the law of the category 1 territory under which the conduct is alleged to constitute an offence;

(d) particulars of the sentence which may be imposed under the law of the category 1 territory in respect of the offence if the person is convicted of it.

(6) The information is —

(a) particulars of the person's identity;

(b) particulars of the conviction;

(c) particulars of any other warrant issued in the category 1 territory for the person's arrest in respect of the offence;

(d) particulars of the sentence which may be imposed under the law of the category 1 territory in respect of the offence, if the person has not been sentenced for the offence;

(e) particulars of the sentence which has been imposed under the law of the category 1 territory in respect of the offence, if the person has been sentenced for the offence.

The EAW

8

The offence (and I emphasise for present purposes that the word is singular because the warrant said expressly that it related to "one offence") was set out in the EAW in the following manner (omitting the names of particular institutions and companies), the words, of course, appearing below in translated form:

"Iwona Skrzypczak stands accused of the following offence:

Between 21 September 2004 and 5 February 2005 in Poznan, acting together and in agreement with [K] and another unidentified person, with pre-meditated intent, at short intervals of time, she caused the following financial institutions [named] to disadvantageously dispose of their property in the total amount of PLN 63,375.43, having presented certificates which had been earlier forged by herself, [K] and another unidentified person by filling out the form details, applying seals and signing the forms in place of an authorised person of [K's] employment in [various places of employment] and having made a fraudulent representation as to the salary he purportedly received in those companies, thus misleading the employees of the above mentioned institutions, which served as credit and loan agencies, as to his ability and intention to carry out the obligations undertaken by him, on the following dates:

1. On 21 September 2001 in Poznan she caused [Institution 1] based in Warsaw to disadvantageously dispose of its property in the amount of PLN 600.00 by making a fraudulent representation to the salary received by [K] misleading the employee who assisted in the signing of [a loan contract] as to her ability and intention to carry out the undertaken obligation.

2. On 21 September 2004 in Poznan she caused [Institution 2] based in Warsaw to disadvantageously dispose of its property in the amount of PLN 7900.00 by presenting a certificate of [K's] employment in [a named company] which had been earlier forged in the above described way thus misleading the employee who assisted in the signing of [a loan contract] as to her ability and intention to carry out the undertaken obligation.

3. On 12 October 2004 in Poznan she caused [Institution 3] based in Warsaw to disadvantageously dispose of its property in the amount of PLN 15000.00 by presenting a certificate of [K's] employment in [a named company] which had been earlier forged in the above described way thus misleading the employee who assisted in the signing of [cash credit contract…] as to her ability and intention to carry out the undertaken obligation.

4. On 13 January 2005 in Poznan she caused [Institution 4] based in Gdansk to disadvantageously dispose of its property in the amount of PLN 6925.29 by presenting a certificate of [K's] employment in [a named company] thus misleading the employee who assisted in the signing of [a cash credit contract…] as to her ability and intention to carry out the undertaken obligation.

5. On 14 January 2005 in Poznan she caused [Institution 5] based in Katowce to disadvantageously dispose of its property in the amount of PLN 28678.17 by presenting a certificate of [K's] employment in [a named company] which had been earlier forged in the above described way thus misleading the employee who assisted in the signing of [a loan credit agreement] as to her ability and intention to carry out the undertaken obligation.

6. On 5 February 2005 in Poznan she caused [Institution 6] based in Wrotlaw to disadvantageously dispose of its property in the amount of PLN 4271.97 by presenting a certificate of [K's] employment in [a named company] which had been earlier forged in the above described way thus misleading the employee who assisted in the signing of [a loan credit agreement for the purchase of a computer] as to her ability and intention to carry out the undertaken obligation, i.e. for an offence under Article 286(1) of the Polish Penal Code, Article 297(1) of the Polish Penal Code and Article 270(1) of the Polish Penal Code in conjunction with Article 11(2) of the Polish Penal Code in conjunction with Article 12 of the Polish Penal Code."

9

The offence, said to be under "Article 286(1) of the Polish Penal Code, Article 297(1) of the Polish Penal Code and Article 270(1) of the Polish Penal Code in conjunction with Article 11(2) of the Polish Penal Code in conjunction with Article 12 of the Polish Penal Code", was classified in the EAW as "fraud, defrauding of credit and forgery of documents".

10

Article 11(2) provides that "[if] an act has features specified in two or more provisions of the penal law, the court shall sentence the perpetrator for one offence on the basis of all concurrent provisions." That is how it is set out (in translated form) in the EAW.

11

Article 12 is set out (in translated form) in the EAW as follows:

"Two or more prohibited acts undertaken at short intervals with premeditated intent shall be regarded as a single continuous offence, if the subject of the assault is a personal interest, the condition for regarding multiple acts as a single offence is that they are committed against the same person." (Emphasis added.)

12

At the District Judge's request, the Requesting Judicial Authority was invited to re-translate that paragraph of the warrant. The version which was returned read as follows:

"Two or more actions, undertaken at short intervals of time and with premeditated intent, shall be considered as a single forbidden act; if the object of the forbidden actions is a personal right, the condition for considering multiple actions as a single forbidden act is that they are committed against the same person." [Emphasis added again.]

13

I will deal with Mr Hawkes' submissions about those parts of the EAW when I have described the way in which the potential sentence for "the offence" is dealt with...

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