On 28 October 2022, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice delivered a preliminary ruling in the context of an extradition request made by the authorities of the United States of America to the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany with a view to carrying out criminal proceedings against HF, a Serbian national. On 20 January 2022, HF, a Serbian national, was remanded in custody in Germany pursuant to a red notice issued by the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) at the request of the authorities of the United States of America. HF has thus been detained in Germany since 20 January 2022 for the purposes of that extradition procedure. HF had participated in racketeer-influenced corrupt organisations and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and fraud by means of telecommunication. According to the information provided by the Slovenian authorities upon request of the referring court, HF was sentenced by judgment of the Okrožno sodišče v Mariboru (District Court, Maribor, Slovenia), of 6 July 2012, which became final on 19 October 2012. In addition, by decision of 23 September 2020, the Okrožno sodišče v Kopru (District Court, Koper, Slovenia) refused a request made to the Slovenian authorities by the United States authorities seeking HF’s extradition for the purposes of prosecution. The referring court states, first, that the extradition request previously sent to the Slovenian authorities and the extradition request at issue in the main proceedings concern the same offences and, second, that the acts which the Okrožno sodišče v Mariboru (District Court, Maribor) adjudicated on are identical to those referred to in the latter extradition request. Thus, the referring court asked whether Article 54 of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement (‘CISA’), read in conjunction with Article 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’), shall be interpreted as meaning that that those provisions preclude the extradition of a third-country national who is not an EU citizen in terms of Article 20 of the TFEU by the authorities of a contracting state to that Convention and an EU Member State to a third country if a final judgment has been passed against the person concerned by another Member State of the European Union for the same offences to which the extradition request relates and that judgment has been enforced and where the decision to refuse to extradite that person to the third country would be possible only at the cost of breaching a bilateral extradition treaty that exists with that third country. The Court held that Article 54 of the CISA must be interpreted as precluding the extradition, by the authorities of a Member State, of a third-country national to another third country, where, first, that national has been convicted by final judgment in another Member State for the same acts as those referred to in the extradition request, and has been subject to the sentence imposed in that State, and, second, the extradition request is based on a bilateral extradition treaty limiting the scope of the ne bis in idem principle to judgments handed down in the requested Member State.
Case Number C-435/22 PPU
Name of the parties HF
Date of the judgement 2022-10-28
Court Court of Justice of the European Union (Grand Chamber)