ACTION ALERT: FARID HILALI WRONGFULLY EXTRADITED 10-02-2008
Farid Hilali was extradited to Spain on February 8th 2008, after the House of Lords ruled that he may be sent under the terms of the European Arrest Warrant. This was in spite of a number of irregularities with the warrant, not least that it was reliant upon phone evidence that had previously been deemed inadmissible within the Spanish judicial system.
The British courts held that he may be extradited, but only on the basis of the charges against him. When Arani Solicitors contested that there was no case to answer, the House of Lords unfortunately ruled that it was a matter of ‘trust’ with the Spanish Government that he would only be tried on the charges to which he was extradited, and that it was not for the British Government to question the evidence before extradition.
Hours after arriving in Spain via military transport, the Spanish Government reneged on this promise and issue of trust. They have indicated that they will try him for being a member of a proscribed organisation, of which no mention was made in the European Arrest Warrant.
Indeed, the House of Lords explicitly stated in Paragraph 29 of their judgement that this would not be an extraditable offence under the specialty rule:-
“the Spanish prosecutor, Mr Rubira, states in several places in his witness statement that the respondent remains accused of participation in a terrorist organisation. It was important to make it plain in the extradition order that this was not an offence for which the respondent can be prosecuted as he is entitled to the protection of the specialty rule with regard to it”
The Spanish Government have therefore deliberately misled the British Courts in giving assurances that he would not be charged in relation to membership offences, then within hours of his extradition reneging on this assurance.
Farid Hilali is now at severe risk of torture and illegal detention in Madrid, Spain, and as of yet Arani Solicitors have not even been informed of his location. Torture is widespread within Spain, and it has been criticised by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and many other human rights organisations. Just last month, the following by a prisoner was recorded:-
“..They said that there, in Madrid, I would really find out what was what…That Guardia Civil told me that nobody knew I had been arrested and that he could easily shoot me. He said that their only remit was to torture and interrogate… In one day and a half they had made me do thousands of stand-ups. At the same time they would hit me on the sides and top of my head, with an object that could be a phone directory or a truncheon made out of rubber. When they hit me with that \\\”phone directory\\\”, I saw sort of lights. They put a bag over my head and stuck something like tobacco smoke into it. They would close the bag to cause me to suffocate…”
The above would appear to be from the most violent of third-world dictatorships, and certainly not from an EU member State which is a signatory to numerous human rights obligations yet continues to breach them. It is inconceivable that Britain could accept the extradition based upon ‘trust’ from a country which operates institutionalised torture, wrongful arrest and even its own prosecutor, Pedro Rubira commits perjury.
Farid Hilali needs your help more than ever now, as this case has serious implications not only for Farid but for all persons whom are less fortunate and oppressed. There has been a media blackout regarding this case in the United Kingdom, and it is essential that protests, letters and complaints are made to the addresses attached, of which a sample letter of complaint is also provided.
Please take action as soon as possible to stop this travesty of justice going further than it already has, and demand that Farid be freed forthwith.
Please send letters of complaint to the addresses listed here. Please also personalise the letter template provided below, or compose your own.
Sir Ken Macdonald QC
Director of Public Prosecution
50 Ludgate Hill
FAX: 0207 710 3447
Tribunal Supremo De Espana
Pza. de la Villa de Paris s/n
Tel : 0091 397 1200
39 Chesham Place
Tel : 0207 235 5555
Fax : 0207 259 5392
Crown Prosecution Service
50 Ludgate Hill
Tel : 0207 796 8500
Fax : 0207 796 8680
I write to you in relation to the case of Farid Hilali who was extradited to Spain on a false premise based upon the European Arrest warrant filed in the United Kingdom by the Spanish Prosecutors office.
Mr Hilali was extradited on the basis of ‘trust’ between the United Kingdom and Spain, and that this extradition was in relation to conspiracy to Murder. It was deemed in British Courts that membership of an illegal organisation would not be an extraditable offence under the specialty rules.
Despite this, the Spanish Prosecutor has now detained him on the basis of illegal membership, even though this was explicitly prohibited by the United Kingdom. This is therefore a breach of the ‘trust’ that the United Kingdom accorded the Spanish Government, and a breach of Mr Hilali’s fundamental human rights.
Farid Hilali is also at risk of torture whilst detained from Spain. Indeed Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Cageprisoners and many internal Spanish human rights organisations have condemned Spain for their treatment of political suspects and internees.
I therefore urge that you demand that the Spanish Prosecutor end the illegal detention of Farid Hilali and release him immediately. I would also urge that the Spanish Government free Farid, and exonerate him of all false charges and allow him to resume his life with his family.
I thank you for taking the time to read this letter; I trust you will now investigate the issues raised within it.
I look forward to hearing from you in due course.
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