On 4 October 2022, District Judge Rimmer discharged the extradition case of Government of the Republic of Korea v Derek Ong.
The Judge found that the extradition request was politically motivated, oppressive due to a ten-year delay, and that extradition would infringe human rights, specifically, Article 3 rights against torture and inhumane and degrading treatment, under the European Convention on Human Rights.
In his 164-page ruling, the Judge concluded that the extradition request was attributable to extraneous considerations including nationality and political motivation.
The Court heard evidence of human rights breaches in South Korea, including that prisons are chronically overcrowded. The Judge concluded that problems with South Korean prisons constitute “by far the gravest Article 3 concern”.
South Korea has not appealed the decision.
Ben Keith is a leading barrister specialising in Extradition and International Crime, as well as dealing with Immigration, Serious Fraud, and Public law. He has extensive experience of appellate proceedings before the Administrative and Divisional Courts, Criminal and Civil Court of Appeal as well as applications and appeals to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and United Nations. He is ranked in Chambers and Partners as a band 1 leader in the field of Extradition at the London Bar and in the Legal 500 as a Tier 1 leading individual in international crime and extradition.