On 29 November 2021, Corker Binning’s client, a dual British-Russian citizen, was discharged at Westminster Magistrates’ Court following an attempt by the Russian Federation to obtain his extradition. The case was heard over 5 days in October during which the court heard from eminent experts instructed by the defence.
In a judgment handed down by Senior District Judge Goldspring, Corker Binning’s client was discharged on multiple grounds including that extradition would be a breach of Article 3 (detention conditions) and 6 (fair trial rights) of the European Convention on Human Rights. In addition, the Senior District Judge found that extradition was barred by reason of the extraneous considerations bar to extradition. In a significant development, the SDJ (in a departure from the approach taken by his predecessors) adopted a wide definition of ‘political opinions’ bringing extradition law in line with the approach taken by the courts in asylum cases. The SDJ found that “this court has been persuaded that there is a risk that this request falls into the category of “sensitive” cases where the interests of the State, big business and the [requested person] are so intertwined that the request is found to be, or possibly be found, driven by motives that are not evidenced based, but rather politically, in the wider sense, motivated.”
Following discharge, the court released our client from his bail obligations and granted a defendant’s costs order.