European Arrest Warrant ‘targeting innocent British resident’
MPs and justice campaigners have called for urgent reforms to the European Arrest Warrant after claiming it is being used by corrupt officials to target an innocent British resident.
They say the case of a London-based businessman who is at risk of being extradited to Romania to face “unfounded” bribery charges has highlighted serious flaws in the system.
Alexander Adamescu, 38, was arrested last June and locked up for two nights before being released on bail pending a hearing next year.
The Romanian authorities are demanding his extradition as part of a wider case against Mr Adamescu’s father, Dan, the proprietor of the newspaper Romania Libera, which has long been a thorn in the side of the authorities. But Mr Adamescu’s supporters say the case against both men has been fabricated.
A high level report by a senior figure in British intelligence, seen by The Daily Telegraph, says Romania is seeking Alexander’s extradition and trial in an attempt to silence him. It concludes: “There can be little doubt that Alexander Adamescu is being pursued because he is Dan Adamescu’s son.”
Under the current system British courts are not allowed to question the basis on which an EAW has been issued.
Graham Day, a Conservative MP, said the case “demonstrates the urgent need for the UK to negotiate extradition arrangements that retain basic legal safeguards”.
The Adamescu family’s claim former-communist within the security services fabricated a bribery case against the Astra insurance company run by Dan Adamescu.
They claim that in 2014 the former prime minister Victor Ponta instructed regulators to take control of the firm, which was then liquidated.
In June last year, 10 days after being denounced by Mr Ponta, Mr Adamescu was arrested and subsequently jailed for over four years following what his supporters described as a “show trial”.
Mr Adamescu told The Daily Telegraph: “Romania has accused me of be- ing involved in a bribery case with no credible evidence. Under the EAW system the British courts aren’t allowed to look at the evidence against me, which is just hot air.”
He has written to Theresa May urging her to press the Romanian authorities to withdraw their extradition request; to signal that the EAW will be reformed under Britain’s Brexit arrangements and crucially, to offer his family asylum in Britain. No 10 has yet to respond directly. The Romanian National Anti-cor- ruption Directorate said Dan Adamescu had received a fair trial and pointed out that his appeal had been dismissed by the country’s Supreme Court.
Romanians voted yesterday in parliamentary elections that were expected to see Mr Ponta’s party stage a remarkable comeback. Mass protests after a nightclub fire claimed 64 lives last October – and which was blamed on corruption – forced Mr Ponta and his Social Democrats to resign. But the party was forecast to win with around 40 per cent of the vote.