On Thursday 15 February 2018, David Josse Q.C. and Ben Keith successfully argued on behalf of the Appellant that extradition to Turkey would be unlawful due to the current prison conditions in the Country.

The judge concluded that extradition to Turkey would be a breach of the appellant's Article 3 rights and that returning the Appellant who is currently a British prisoner, to a Turkish Prison would be unsafe due to overcrowding following the 2016 attempted coup. The judge held that due to the high numbers, the Appellant's mental health needs could not be met and extradition to Turkey was refused.

When dismissing the appeal Lord Justice Holroyde said he was not making a general assessment of Turkish prison conditions, however:

“taking into account the risk of suicide, a failure to meet the mental healthcare needs of the appellant would” breach his rights under article 3 of the European convention on human rights, which outlaws torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.

The Appellant is a 41-year-old man who holds joint Iranian and British nationality. He came to the UK in 2002 to attend a kick-boxing tournament and was eventually granted asylum. His home is in London where he lives with his second wife and two children. In February 2011, returning from a family visit to Iran, he was stopped in his car at the Turkish border where 33kg (72.7lbs) of the synthetic drug MDMA was discovered concealed beneath the back seat.

The man, who has been granted anonymity because of his poor mental health and his claim that he was subsequently raped by Turkish inmates, insisted he knew nothing about the drugs. He said they were hidden without his permission when he lent the car to a friend in Iran for a wedding. Despite his denial, a Turkish court sentenced him to seven and a half years in prison. After serving three years in a closed prison in Edirne, he was supposed to be transferred to an open prison but absconded when he was not accompanied on the trip by guards.

David Josse Q.C. and Ben Keith, were instructed by Renata Pinter, of Dalton Holmes Gray, who represented the Appellant. Ms Pinter commented as follows:

“This case has been a long battle and has shown how far human rights and the rule of law have deteriorated since the attempted coup in Turkey. The prisons are hugely overcrowded and Turkey is not allowing access to independent inspectors.”

The full judgment can be viewed here. This case was reported in the Guardian, and the full article can be viewed here.

David Josse Q.C. is a barrister specialising in extradition, human rights, international war crimes and serious crime, both nationally and internationally.  David is ranked in Chambers and Partners as a leader in the field of extradition at the London Bar. David is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading Band 2 silk in international crime and extradition at the London Bar.

Ben Keith is a barrister specialising in Extradition, Immigration, Serious Fraud, Human Rights and Public law. Ben is ranked in Chambers and Partners as a band 1 leader in the field of Extradition at the London Bar.  Ben is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a band 1 leading individual in international crime and extradition at the London Bar.