Extraditions halted. Dutch court probes independence of Polish judiciary
The International Legal Aid Office (IRK) at Amsterdam court has temporarily suspended extraditing Polish citizens accused or sentenced in Holland. In July, the IRK asked the Court of Justice of the EU about the independence and freedom of Polish judiciary.
Thursday's decision by the IRK follows an earlier development. On July 31, the very same institution said it won't extradite a Polish man wanted by the International Arrest Warrant. The Dutch court also referred three questions to the Court of Justice of the EU, on whether they should be handing over suspects to Poland or not.
Awaiting the CJEU's verdict, the IRK decided on Thursday to temporarily cease extraditing all Polish suspects or convicts to Poland. The decision will remain effective until the CJEU has issued its opinion on the matter.
Dutch portal NOS pointed out that "the Amsterdam court is the only court in Holland which has the authority to make decisions regarding extraditing foreign suspects residing in Holland".
Independence under "increasing pressure"
The case pertains to a 32-year-old Polish man who has been detained and suspected of drug smuggling. He is said to have bought, together with other people, some 200 kilos of hard and soft drugs in Holland and planned to smuggle them to Poland. The European Arrest Warrant after the man was issued on August 31, 2015 by the District Court in Poznań.
"Since 2017, the independence of Polish courts and thus the right to a fair trial have come under increasing pressure," the Amsterdam court said in a statement. Furthermore, the IRK argued that the Polish judiciary is subjected, among other things, to politically-motivated appointing and removing of judges. Also mentioned were the new rules for disciplining judges, introduced in Poland in 2019.
"All these developments taken together affect the independence of Polish courts to such an extent that, according to the IRK, they can no longer be independent vis-à-vis the Polish government and parliament, " the Dutch court said. It added that the decision will stand until the CJEU has issued its verdict on the matter.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, De Rechtspraak, tvn24.pl, nos.nl
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Ceescamel/Wikipedia