QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE FULFORD
|GOVERNMENT OF PORTUGAL||(DEFENDANT)|
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR B WATSON (instructed by Hallinan Blackburn Gittings & Nott) appeared on behalf of the CLAIMANT
MS S WHITEHOUSE (instructed by Crown Prosecution Service) appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
Crown Copyright ©
"He stated he undertook to appear before the court whenever served by order of a competent judge or whatever the law so required; not to change the place of residence, nor to be absent from said residence for more than five days without communicating the new place of residence or the address at which he can be found, and not to disturb the continuing of the case by unlawfully trying to hinder the determination of the truth and not to commit further offences."
That document was provided to him in Portuguese. We were told by counsel on behalf of the claimant that he had not understood it. We cannot accept, bearing in mind the obvious seriousness of the offence concerned, that he cannot have made enquiries as to the terms on which he was released.
"I was in Portugal six years ago with my wife. We got arrested, we went to court, we had the assistance of an interpreter, we were told we were free to go, we signed some forms and left the country. I went back to Portugal about three years ago and I had no problems."
"Without prejudice to any jurisdiction of the High Court apart from this section, the court shall order the applicant's discharge if it appears to the court in relation to the offence, or each of the offences, in respect of which the applicant's return is sought, that --
(a) by reason of the trivial nature of the offence; or
(b) by reason of the passage of time since he is alleged to have committed it or to have become unlawfully at large, as the case may be . . .
it would, having regard to all the circumstances, be unjust or oppressive to return him."
"... it is accepted that a custodial sentence is an entirely appropriate sentence for even one offence of tendering or passing a counterfeit banknote. The reason is obvious. Such offences threaten the integrity of our monetary system and confidence in it ... In the absence of exceptional circumstances an immediate custodial sentence is necessary in all cases involving the tendering or passing of forged banknotes."