The Malta Independent 20 June 2018, Wednesday

Lawyers warn of human rights breach if Maltese man is extradited to ‘inhumane’ Lithuanian prison

Jacob Borg Saturday, 23 January 2016, 13:58 Last update: about 3 years ago

Lawyers representing a Maltese man who is fighting extradition to Lithuania have warned of a serious human rights breach if their client is deported and placed in an "inhumane" Lithuanian prison.

In an appeal, they blasted Magistrate Aaron Bugeja for being "numb and indifferent" to their client ‐Angelo Spiteri's ‐ plea against extradition to a country "with the objectively proven, universally acclaimed worst inhumane, and illegal conditions in its prisons from all the EU member states."

Mr Spiteri is the director of a Lithuanian-registered travel company Atostogu Sandelis, who is wanted to face fraud charges in Lithuania.

In the appeal, signed by lawyers Jason Azzopardi, Kris Busietta and Patrick Valentino, the appellant expressed his shock that the magistrate's court turned "a Nelson's eye to the human rights excesses, breaches and worse which are the order of the day in Lithuania's prisons."

Lithuania was described in the appeal as being "the scourge of Europe as far as the inhumane and degrading treatment meted out in its notorious prisons goes."

"The appellant submits with respect that it was a dereliction of its Treaty of the European Union-imposed obligations when the Court of Committal omitted to stop the extradition hearing on the basis of the human rights disgusting and stomach-turning human rights breaches for which Lithuanian prisons are so notorious.

"The appellant believes that no Court of Law in Malta can, willingly or not, knowingly or not, be a medium for a Maltese citizen's breach of his fundamental human right not to be subject to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

"This is no waffle. This is no red herring. The situation in the prisons of Lithuania is atrocious and flies in the face of what respect for human rights should be. Period," the appeal read.

The man's lawyers pointed out in the appeal that a number of damning judgement has been delivered with respect to the appalling conditions in Lithuanian prisons, and a court in Ireland blocked the extradition of an Irish national on these grounds. 

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