Extradition ruling on ‘killer’

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Published: Thursday 16th April 2015 by The News Editor

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An alleged killer who argues he is too depressed to be extradited will find out today whether he can be sent back to his native country to stand trial.

Lithuanian national Kestutis Martuzevicius, who is wanted over allegations he committed 22 crimes including murder, robbery and extortion between 1993 and 1997, has been fighting efforts to send him home for almost five years.

European Court of Human Rights judges are due to rule today whether his removal would amount to “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” because of his mental illness, and therefore breach his human rights.

Martuzevicius, who came to the UK in 1996, was arrested in London in June 2011 under a European Arrest Warrant from the deputy prosecutor general in Lithuania, where he is wanted in connection with two murders in 1994.

His extradition was granted the following October and he was held in Belmarsh Prison in south-east London ahead of being sent abroad.

According to court documents he was later diagnosed as mentally ill, with a psychiatric report saying he had been “suffering from depression since July 2012, that he was suffering from a delusional disorder and that he should be transferred to Broadmoor (High Security Psychiatric Hospital) for treatment”.

A second report found he was ” seriously depressed, that he was suffering from a delusional disorder, and that there was a risk of suicide”.

However, Broadmoor’s authorities did not accept he needed to be sent there and his transfer did not take place.

Martuzevicius had previously applied to the High Court to block extradition on the grounds that it would be unjust because of the time since the alleged crimes were committed. His lawyers also argued it breached articles two (right to life) and three (prohibition of torture) because he was at risk of reprisals from “a notorious criminal organisation”.

His appeals under article three to the High Court and the Appeal Court failed and he subsequently took the case to Strasbourg.

An ECHR spokesman said: “The applicant complains under article three of the Convention that his extradition to Lithuania would breach article three due to the severity of his mental health condition.”

Published: Thursday 16th April 2015 by The News Editor

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