Edmond Arapi case highlights need for European Arrest Warrant system to be suspended pending enquiry

Tuesday, June 15 2010

UKIP West Midlands MEP Mike Nattrass says the ongoing nightmare endured by Edmond Arapi shows the European Arrest Warrant system is flawed and should be suspended pending a thorough enquiry.

Italian authorities have announced their decision to drop their European Arrest Warrant (EAW) against Edmond Arapi who works as a chef in Leek, Staffordshire.

Mr Arapi, who is married with three children, was facing serving 16 years in an Italian jail after being tried and convicted in his absence for killing an Italian man in Genoa in October 2004.

Evidence however, showed that Mr Arapi was actually in the UK at the time of the murder.

Yesterday’s decision by the Italian authorities to drop the EAW against Mr Arapi has been welcomed by UKIP West Midlands Mike Nattrass who says the case and also the case of Birmingham City supporter Garry Mann, highlights a need for the EAW system to be suspended pending an urgent enquiry.

Both Mike Nattrass and fellow UKIP MEP the Earl of Dartmouth are campaigning for the enquiry.

Mr Nattrass said: “The cases of Edmond Arapi and Garry Mann highlight the deep cracks and flaws in the EU imposed EAW system.

“I praise the Italian authorities’ decision and I hope Mr Arapi and his family can put their ordeal behind them. I fear however, more cases like Mr Arapi’s and Mr Mann’s will happen as a result of the EAW system.

“UKIP MEPs had recently written to the Home Secretary concerning the flawed EAW system and the cases of Mr Arapi and Mr Mann. All we are campaigning for English style justice.”

Garry Mann, a father of six from Faversham in Kent, is facing serving two years in a Portuguese jail despite British judges, police and the legal system expressing their dismay over how his case was handled by authorities.

Fair Trials International described Mr Mann’s trial a ‘travesty of justice’ and a farce.

He was accused of having taken part in a riot in Portugal during the Euro 2004 championships and within 48 hours Mr Mann was arrested, tried and convicted.

Mr Mann claims he had no proper interpreters provided during his trial and was only allowed to speak to a lawyer for five minutes before his trial.