High Court forces France to provide assurances before BSB client is extradited

BSB client Emmnauel Shumba’s extradition to France will not go ahead unless the French Government can assure The High Court that he will not be detained in the squalid conditions that they were told about during the appeal that was heard in May.

On behalf of Mr Shumba, partner Jonathan Black obtained an independent report from a French criminal law specialist Dominique Tricaud and a translation of the damning report by the Committee for The Prevention of Torture. The Report found that in the relevant prison establishments, inmates often suffered less than 3m2 of personal space in a cell shared with two others without closed off toilet facilities. The inmates were detained in the cells for 22 hours per day in establishments that suffered bug and rat infestations.

In court Alison Macdonald QC of Matrix Chambers leading Saoirse Townshend and Emille Pottle both of 36 Bedford Row, successfully argued that unless France grant specific assurances, to allow the extradition of the appellant would be a breach of article 3 of The European Convention on Human Rights.

“In relation to those four prisons, we are satisfied on the evidence that there may be substantial grounds for believing that the Appellants face a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment if they are extradited….there is sufficient evidence before the Court to require the Court to make a request of the French authorities setting out certain questions on which we need specific information before this Court could permit extradition of these Appellants to France” Singh LJ , Carr J.

Reported Shumba, Bechian and Henta v France [2018] EWHC 1762 (Admin),