Campaigners on this issue will be familiar with names like Andrew Symeou and Edmond Arapi, who have fallen foul of the European Arrest Warrant, suffering considerable distress as a result of being accused of crimes they did not commit.
Our attention has been recently drawn to two further miscarriages of justice. Firstly, some people will remember the King family, whose son Ashya suffered from a brain tumour. They were arrested under an EAW because they took him to be be treated abroad with proton therapy rather than the radiotherapy on offer from the NHS .The young boy is now apparently “clear of cancer”.
Secondly, Gary Owens, a former British rock star is about to launch a lawsuit of $5.2m. against the Spanish government after being extradited to Spain, imprisoned for two and a half years and placed under criminal investigation, all for a crime he did not commit. He too was the victim of an EAW in 2008, fifteen years after being freed without charge.
It is ABSURD that our government is not using Brexit as an opportunity to set ourselves free from this failed scheme. Michel Barnier insisted that if we leave the EU, we will of necessity leave Europol and by extension, presumably the EAW as well. On this issue, we can but hope that he will not waver in any way and, in spite of the worst intentions of our government, mo more UK citizens will find themselves falling victim of this flawed arrangement when we leave the EU in a year’s time.