Far from promoting access to justice, European Arrest Warrants are helping to extend the reach of sub-standard legal systems, says Rory Broomfield.
Brexit gives the UK a golden opportunity to change its relationship with the European Union. We have a chance to reframe our laws so that English legal freedoms are respected and that those in the UK are not exposed to the injustices that happen elsewhere in the EU. However, while the UK still signs up to arrangements like the European Arrest Warrant, with instances of injustice that come from it every year, why are the BBC and other broadcast media ignoring the situation and those afflicted by it?
The current relationship treats the UK’s legal system as comparable to those of Romania, Bulgaria and other former Communist states throughout Eastern Europe. I’ve written about this before and mentioned, as is still the case, that this premise is a falsehood; these legal systems are not comparable. Nonetheless, these states – with their poor records on corruption and for respecting property rights – are all seen to be the same and, as a result, those living in the UK are in danger of being subject to these systems without proper checks to prevent it.
There have been many reports covering the sub-standard legal systems seen throughout Europe. Three relatively recent ones have been produced by Fair Trials International, The Henry Jackson Society and one jointly between The Hampden Trust, The Freedom Association and the Economic Policy Centre. They all show, in short, very worrying practices concerning judicial independence, trial hearings and the implementation of the rule of law in countries that are covered by the European Arrest Warrant.
However, there has hardly been a mention the European Arrest Warrant on the BBC since the Brexit vote. Indeed, it is especially worrying that they have failed to cover a case of potential great injustice: that of Alexander Adamescu.
Alexander Adamescu is a German national living in London with his wife and three young children. Arrested at the Frontline Club in London last year, according to David Clark the only evidence against Adamescu appears to be that he has continued to campaign for his father.
Alexander’s plight has been covered in The Daily Mail, The Spectator, The Telegraph and many other magazines, newspapers, online blogs and publications in Romania, the UK and the USA. However, nothing from the BBC.
There have even been allegations that the Romanian Secret Service has tried to kidnap his wife on the streets of London and yet silence from “Auntie Beeb” as it continues to focus purely on UK membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union. Memo to the BBC: there are other important aspects to our relationship with the EU to discuss.
Ignoring Alexander’s case is distressing to anyone that believes in traditional English legal freedoms concerning prima facie evidence, fair trials and the rule of law. However, what is maybe more bizarre is why there has been apparent silence from the BBC and others concerning the case of Stuart Ramsay.
Stuart Ramsay is a multi-award winning investigative journalist who produced a report on arms trafficking in Romania for Sky News. For this, Romania accused Ramsay of fabricating the report and requested legal assistance from the UK to investigate him while arresting three Romanians associated with the programme in Romania.
As a result, Ramsay and his case received a lot of attention on Twitter – prompting Ramsay himself to ask ‘Romania to stop trolling’. The case was covered in The Independent, The Guardian, The Daily Express and elsewhere. However, not on the BBC and other UK broadcasting networks.
Broadcasters in the UK, especially the BBC, have previously covered major cases concerning UK nationals and the European Arrest Warrant such as Andrew Symeou and Ashya King. Given that cases are still occurring that illustrate the problems with the UK’s relationship with the EU and countries like Romania, the question has to be asked: why are they ignoring these cases?