QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE McCOMBE
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MR CALDWELL (instructed by Crown Prosecution Service) appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
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"'Unjust' I regard as directed primarily to the risk of prejudice to the accused in the conduct of the trial itself, 'oppressive' as directed to hardship to the accused resulting from changes in his circumstances that have occurred during the period to be taken into consideration; but there is room for overlapping, and between them they would cover all cases where to return him would not be fair. Delay in the commencement or conduct of extradition proceedings which is brought about by the accused himself by fleeing the country, concealing his whereabouts or evading arrest cannot, in my view, be relied upon as a ground for holding it to be either unjust or oppressive to return him. Any difficulties that he may encounter in the conduct of his defence in consequence of the delay due to such causes are of his own choice and making. Save in the most exceptional circumstances it would be neither unjust nor oppressive that he should be required to accept them."
"On the basis of the material put before this court I am satisfied the defendant is to blame for the delay by fleeing Germany. On the authority of Kakis the defendant cannot rely on the delay."
It was accordingly a decision based upon that finding of fact.
"There may or may not previously have been such a case. In my judgment, however, there can be no cut-off point beyond which extradition must inevitably be regarded as unjust or oppressive."
With that, I entirely agree.
"There is no evidence as to the nature of the evidence against him. I conclude that there is a very real risk the appellant will be prejudiced in his defence by the passage of the time that has passed. As is obvious, he is very likely to have difficulties in dealing with evidence which he first hears about over six years after the events. Also, if, for example, the case turns on identification evidence, there is very likely to be a much greater risk after this period of time of a wrong conviction."
In the present case we know the nature of the evidence against the appellant and we know what his answer to that evidence is.