Brussels – EU concerns about judicial reforms in Poland are not enough reason for another member state to refuse extradition warrants, an advisor to the European Union’s top court argued on Thursday.
A report says the case relates to a Polish man living in Ireland, who is being sought by the Polish courts on suspicion of illegal drug trafficking.
He is the subject of three European arrest warrants, extradition requests that are binding on other EU member states.
The man was arrested in Ireland in May 2017 but protested his planned extradition to Poland.
He argued that he runs the risk of not receiving a fair trial there due to judicial reforms introduced by the current government.
These reforms have prompted the European Commission to launch an unprecedented formal warning process against Poland, due to concerns that they breach the rule of law by placing the judicial system under the too much political influence.
Advocate General, Evgeni Tanchev, argued that a member state must postpone a European arrest warrant if two conditions are met.
“A real risk of the flagrant denial of justice and the discovery of evidence that the person to be extradited would be exposed to that risk.
“The lack of judicial independence must be so serious that it destroys the fairness of the trial.
“This cannot be taken to mean that no Polish court is capable of hearing any case whatever in compliance with the right to a fair trial,’’ Tanchev said.
Tanchev is one of 11 advocate generals who provide legal opinions to the European Court of Justice.
However, the judges generally follow their advice, although it can take several months before a verdict is reached.