UK high court refuses to extradite British national to UAE over torture fears

UK high court refuses to extradite British national to UAE over torture fears
Critics have pointed towards the UAE's improper use of the Interpol system to find wanted individuals abroad with no real intention of extraditing them.
2 min read
22 July, 2017
The case was heard at the High Court in London [TNA]

A UK court refused to extradite an unnamed British national to the UAE due to a "real risk" of torture.

The High Court ruled the man could not be sent to the Gulf country to face fraud charges as the UAE had been unable to disprove it carried out widespread human rights violations and unfair trials.

According to the judgement, "the UAE has maintained a policy followed before this court in recent years, of not responding to defence expert material or providing any instructions save to insist on the pursuit of this request."

The legal precedent for this case was set by the 2010 trial of Mohammed Lodhi, who resisted extradition to the UAE on drug charges for almost a decade.

Since that trial, no individual has been extradited to the UAE from the UK, due to concerns over a lack of fair trials and the likelihood that human rights may be violated.

Activists say the case also showcases how Emirati authorities abuse the Interpol Red Notice, a system for searching wanted individuals around the world.

"This case is further evidence that the UAE continues to report individuals to Interpol with no serious attempt to actually extradite them," said Rahda Stirling, founder of the NGO, Detained in Dubai.

"It is more used as a tool for the disgruntled claimant to extort funds from the defendant," the expert witness in extradition and civil cases from the UAE, continued.

According to Stirling, the UAE routinely declines to respond to requests from the arresting country for further information or instruction on their cases.

"Using Interpol without intent to pursue extradition is a serious abuse of their membership," she said, adding that it was costing the British taxpayer millions per year in court time and legal costs.

"Most of the cases reported by Interpol are not even considered crimes outside of the Middle East, they are considered civil matters."