QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE CRANSTON
|NATIONAL PUBLIC PROSECUTOR OF HOLLAND||Defendant|
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Ms Clair Dobbin (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) appeared on behalf of the Defendant
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"The person named above is suspected among other things of carrying out human trafficking together with others (including the exploitation of others, which among other things includes enforced prostitution), people smuggling (including aiding and abetting the bringing of illegal persons into the Netherlands), the removal of underage children from the lawful authorities, falsifying or forging of travel documents and/or participation in a criminal organisation, which organisation is alleged to have been participating in said offences in the Netherlands during the period from 1 January 2006 up to and including 24 October 2007. At the time when the offences were being committed Hallatu ('Gilbert'/'Gilbert Solomon') was (mostly) in England. Gilbert CONSPIRED to commit the offences detailed.
The organisation, of which the suspect is a member, is involved among other things in recruiting minors in Nigeria. These are then brought to Western Europe, especially the Netherlands. These minors then register as asylum seekers with the Dutch government which then in accordance with Dutch law proceeds to place them in refuges for underage people.
Then, by using threats of violence against those minors or members of their family with threats of Voodoo, the organisation forces these minors to leave the refuge for minors after which they generally end up in Spain or Italy as illegal prostitutes. The suspect played an important role and directing role in the transport of minors, arranging false documents, maintaining contact between the various members of the organisation and directing one or more of them, including in the Netherlands. The criminal organisation is suspected of being a wide-reaching criminal network, operating at a national and international level."
It is these details which are at issue before us today.
"Put shortly, Pupino imposes upon national courts the same interpretative obligation to construe national law so far as possible to attain the result sought to be achieved by framework decisions as the ECJ in Marleasing SA v Comercial Internacional de Alimentación SA Case C-106/89  ECR 1-4135 had earlier imposed upon national courts to achieve the purpose of directives."
"a description of the circumstances in which the offence was committed, including the time, place and degree of participation in the offence by the requested person..."
Reference to the Annex to the decision does not take us any further. In other words, the Council Framework Decision requires the warrant to set out a description, not in legal language, of how the alleged offence is said to have occurred. In particular, the description must include when and where the offence is said to have happened and what involvement the person named in the warrant had. As with any European instrument, these requirements must be read in the light of its objectives. A balance must be struck between, in this case, the need on the one hand for an adequate description to inform the person, and on the other the object of simplifying extradition procedures. The person sought by the warrant needs to know what offence he is said to have committed and to have an idea of the nature and extent of the allegations against him in relation to that offence. The amount of detail may turn on the nature of the offence. Where dual criminality is involved, the detail must also be sufficient to enable the transposition exercise to take place.
"(c) particulars of the circumstances in which the person is alleged to have committed the offence, including the conduct alleged to constitute the offence, [and] the time and place at which he is alleged to have committed the offence..."
That language, Dyson LJ said in Von Der Pahlen v Austria  EWHC 1672, is not obscure and can be given a plain and ordinary meaning (paragraph 21). Whether in requiring "the conduct alleged to constitute the offence" the subsection goes beyond the European Framework Decision, and so needs to be read consistently with it, we can leave to another day. For my part, I have no doubt that it can be so read. What is clear is that there is no need to put any gloss on the language; for example, that the language somehow connotes the specificity or lack of it demanded in the particulars for a count on an indictment. In making that point, in a decision of this court, Auld LJ added the valuable point that allowance needs also to be made that the description in an European arrest warrant can often be expected to have been translated: Fofana v Thubin  EWHC 744, paragraph 39.
Submissions of the appellant