Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 December 2014, 12:47 GMT

Decision No. 592/1989 of the Court of Appeal of Nauplion

Publisher Greece: Courts of Appeal
Author Court of Appeal of Nauplion
Publication Date 1989
Citation / Document Symbol 592/1989
Other Languages / Attachments Greek
Cite as Decision No. 592/1989 of the Court of Appeal of Nauplion, 592/1989, Greece: Courts of Appeal,  1989, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3f4f88cf4.html [accessed 26 December 2014]
Comments This is a summary in English provided by UNHCR Athens.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Summary of facts: Turkey requested the extradition of H.N. Turkish national, sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for attempt to manslaughter and 1 year for possession on arms. 

Before the Council of Justices of the Court of Appeal, it was demonstrated that the person sought was a recognized refugee in Greece since 1987. During the hearing, it was also proved that the person sought was a left-winger since youth with strong political activity in the ranks of a leftist movement. He led a number of anti-regime activities (participation in demonstrations and meetings, distribution of leaflets etc.) For his activity he suffered harassment by Turkish authorities while his sister, a teacher, was deported to Kurdistan. The attempt to manslaughter was linked to a dispute with a friend for political reasons. He continued his activity against Turkish authorities even after his arrival in Greece. A document issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Greece, dated 1.7.1988, advised against the extradition of Turkish fugitives to Turkey if it is concluded that the extradition has political motives. 

Point of law: An extradition request is assumed to be politically motivated when the requesting State wants to punish a political opponent who fled abroad due to opposition to the government. 

Reasoning and decision:

A) The Court considered that the extradition request is accompanied with the necessary, as per art. 12 para. 2 of the European Extradition Convention, supporting documents.

B) Art. 3 para. 1 and 2 of the a/m Convention does not allow extradition if the offence for which the request is lodged, is considered by the requested State as a political offence or as an offence connected with a political offence, or if the requested State has substantial grounds to believe that the request for extradition on an ordinary criminal offence has been made for the purpose of prosecuting on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions. Art. 438 c' of CPC prohibits extradition for political offences or when it is suspected that the person sought may be prosecuted for political offences. A political offence is considered to be any activity that intends to overthrow of modify the legal socio-economic order. The Court decided that the offences committed by H.N. are not political, since they are not addressed against the Turkish State and extradition is thus typically in conformity with the European Extradition Convention.

C) The Court took note of the political activity of the person sought and decided, by majority, that though the offences for which extradition was requested belonged to ordinary criminal law, extradition should not be granted because, due to his political opinions, he would face danger in Turkey. A minority Justice opined that extradition should be granted since, while in Turkey, the person sought had not been accused for his political activities and his condition would not, thus, be in danger.  

The Court rejected, by majority, the extradition request.  

Note: Later, during the 90s, when H.N. traveled to Germany – with a refugee travel document – he was arrested upon entry in Germany and brought to justice on account of the same extradition request. The German Court, based on the a/m decision, rejected again the extradition.

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