Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August 2014, 14:37 GMT

Decision No. 1338/1983 of the Supreme Court

Publisher Greece: Supreme Court
Author Supreme Court of Greece
Publication Date 1983
Citation / Document Symbol SC 1338/1983
Other Languages / Attachments Greek
Cite as Decision No. 1338/1983 of the Supreme Court , SC 1338/1983, Greece: Supreme Court,  1983, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3f4f81d84.html [accessed 20 August 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: Egypt requested the extradition of S.T.A.H. an Egyptian national (already under prosecution in Greece) who was condemned in Egypt to three years imprisonment for issuing bad checks. Before the Council of Justices of the Athens Court of Appeal, it appeared that the person sought was a close friend and political collaborator to the assassinated Egyptian President, A. Saddat and member of the Board of the governing party.  Following Saddat's assassination, he came at odds with the new President, fell in disgrace and using an official visit abroad, fled Egypt to avoid arrest for his opposition to the government. Following his departure, a number of newspaper reports accused him of various harmful acts against the country, his property was seized and his family's free movement and departure from the country was prohibited. Egyptian diplomats in Athens visited the Greek Foreign Ministry and informed it that the person sought was part of a racket, working at times with Saddat's brother, that his speedy extradition was helpful in order to clean the State administration from such fraudulent cases, that the Egyptian government would pay the alleged debt of 90.000 USD for which the person sought was sued in Greece and that it was ready to exchange him with a Greek national, held in Egypt and requested by Greece. According to the Court, the reason of the extradition was obviously political, i.e., the government wanted revenge on his political opponent. It ruled against extradition, considering that there are no doubts as to the fact that the accusations constitute only a pretext for political persecution. 

Point of law: Extradition is not allowed on person when it is politically motivated and constitutes a pretext to allow his persecution due to his opposition against governmental policy or in general due to his political opinions. 

Reasoning and decision:

A) The Supreme Court considered that the ruling of the Council of Justices of the Court of Appeal correctly assessed the evidence present and decided against extradition.

B) According to art. 443 para. 1 e' of Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), extradition should be requested following an irrevocable sentence. However, since the Council of Justices of the Court of Appeal ruled against extradition as politically motivated, the Supreme Court need not rule on whether the Egyptian judgment is irrevocable

C) Logically, extradition can be stayed only when the competent Council of Justices of the court of Appeal rules in favor of it; an order for stay can only be given by the Minister of Justice.

The Supreme Court confirmed the decision of the Council of Justices of the Court of Appeal, against extradition as politically motivated.

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