14/06/2018 - - Legislation
Case C-191/16 Pisciotti

On 10 April 2018 the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered its judgment in Case C-191/16 Pisciotti.

Judgment of the Court

 

 

The new ruling builds on the September 2016 Petruhhin judgment on extradition of the citizens of another Member State to Russia. 

In 2010 an arrest warrant was issued against Mr Pisciotti by the United States and a bill of indictment was returned by the Grand Jury of that court.  Under this procedure Mr Pisciotti was charged with having taken part in a working group of marine hose manufacturer sales representatives who had distorted competition by sharing out the market for the sale of marine hoses in the State of Florida (United States) and elsewhere between 1999 and late 2006. Therefore, in 2013 Mr Pisciotti was arrested while in transit in Frankfurt’s Airport, Germany. 

the CJEU followed the doctrine stated in Petruhhin and  held that the exchange of information with the Member State of which the person concerned is a national must be given priority in order, where relevant, to afford the authorities of that Member State the opportunity to issue a European arrest warrant for the purposes of prosecution. Thus, when a Member State to which a Union citizen who is a national of another Member State has moved receives an extradition request from a third State with which the former Member State has concluded an extradition agreement, it must inform the Member State of which the citizen in question is a national and, should that Member State so request, surrender that citizen to it, in accordance with the provisions of Framework Decision 2002/584, provided that that Member State has jurisdiction, pursuant to its national law, to prosecute that person for offences committed outside its national territory. 

However, this case brought under consideration the existence of a bilateral agreement between the EU and The United States of America on Extradition. Article 17 of the EU-USA Agreement, headed ‘Non-derogation’, provides: 

  1. This Agreement is without prejudice to the invocation by the requested State of grounds for refusal relating to a matter not governed by this Agreement that is available pursuant to a bilateral extradition treaty in force between a Member State and the United States of America.

  2. Where the constitutional principles of, or final judicial decisions binding upon, the requested State may pose an impediment to fulfilment of its obligation to extradite, and resolution of the matter is not provided for in this Agreement or the applicable bilateral treaty, consultations shall take place between the requested and requesting States. 

Therefore the Court decided that that in the main proceedings, in which a Union citizen who has been the subject of a request for extradition to the United States under the EU-USA Agreement has been arrested in a Member State other than the Member State of which he is a national, for the purposes of potentially acceding to that request, Articles 18 and 21 TFEU must be interpreted as not precluding the requested Member State from drawing a distinction, on the basis of a rule of constitutional law, between its nationals and the nationals of other Member States and from granting that extradition whilst not permitting extradition of its own nationalsprovided that the requested Member State has already put the competent authorities of the Member State of which the citizen is a national in a position to seek the surrender of that citizen pursuant to a European arrest warrant and the latter Member State has not taken any action in that regard.

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