Minister for Justice v Dunkova

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr Justice Michael Peart
Judgment Date28 January 2011
Neutral Citation[2011] IEHC 36
Date28 January 2011
CourtHigh Court
Docket NumberRecord Number: No. 24 Ext./2009
Min for Justice v Dunkova

Between:

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Applicant

and

Vera Dunkova
Respondent

[2011] IEHC 36

Record Number: No. 24 Ext./2009
Record Number: No. 124 Ext./2009

THE HIGH COURT

Judgment of
Mr Justice Michael Peart
1

The surrender of the respondent is sought by a judicial authority in the Czech Republic on foot of two European arrest warrants which issued there on the 26th January 2009 and the 15th January 2008 respectively. Each warrant was transmitted to the Central Authority in this State on different dates, and in respect of each warrant this Court ordered their endorsement for execution, and the respondent was duly arrested on each on separate dates namely 3rd November 2009 and 11th June 2010, and she was brought before the High Court immediately after her arrest and was remanded on bail from time to time thereafter pending the completion of the applications made for an orders of surrender. These applications were heard together before me.

2

I am satisfied that the respondent before the Court is the person in respect of whom these two warrants have been issued. No issue to the contrary arises.

3

The warrant dated 26th February 2009 seeks surrender so that she may serve the remainder of a sentence of 2 years and 6 months which was imposed upon her following her conviction for one offence committed in 1995, the details of which are set forth in that warrant. A period of 2 years, 2 months and 22 days remains to be served.

4

No issue is pursued on this application in respect of correspondence. Accordingly I do not propose to set forth the details of that offence. On a previous application for surrender in respect of this offence, this Court was not satisfied that the warrant disclosed facts sufficient for this Court to be satisfied that there was a corresponding offence under the laws of this State. However, on the present application, further information has been supplied by the issuing judicial authority, and I am satisfied now that the offence corresponds to an offence of theft contrary to section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act,2001. Any objection by the respondent in relation to correspondence has been withdrawn.

5

The other warrant dated 15th January 2008 seeks surrender so that the respondent can serve a sentence of 1 year and 6 months which was imposed upon her following her conviction for one offence set out therein and which was committed in 1994. I will not set out the details of that offence but, again, I am satisfied that this offence corresponds to an offence of attempted robbery - robbery being an offence contrary to section 14 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001. Again, the objection raised as to correspondence by the respondent has been withdrawn.

6

Minimum gravity has been satisfied in respect of each warrant on account of the length of the two sentences which have been imposed.

7

No undertaking is required to be provided under section 45 of the European Arrest Warrant Act,2003, as amended, as neither conviction was imposed in absentia.

8

Paul McDermott SC for the respondent has very helpfully stated that the only point of objection being pursued on these applications is that raised in respect of family rights derived from Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and under the Constitution. In support of that objection, a number of affidavits have been filed.

9

These are sworn by the respondent herself and other members of her family all of whom reside here with her.

10

The respondent has stated that she came to this country in July 2003 out of fear for her safety and that of her family. She and her family of Roma origin, and that she and her family had been the subject of intimidation and violence for that reason. She has given details of specific incidents which happened before they left, including that they received death threats if they did not leave their area. They applied for asylum here upon arrival but these applications were refused. She refers to the offence the subject of the first above mentioned warrant and states that she subsequently repaid the amount of the theft to the injured party, and states that in June 1995 she had been released from prison because she was at that time pregnant and was suffering from a heart condition from which she has suffered since she was 28 years of age. She is on medication for this condition (angina) and will remain on it for the remainder of her life. She has provided medical evidence in relation to this. She believes that imprisonment if surrendered will give rise to a rave risk of harm to her and that the Czech prison system will not be able to provide adequately for her care.

11

She also states that her husband is unwell. He suffers from a lung disease and requires to be on an oxygen machine for several hours each day, and that he needs her to care for him, and that if surrendered to the Czech Republic there would be nobody at home here who could look after him.

12

She goes on to state that following her release in 1995 and before she left that country in 2003 no effort was ever made to re-arrest her. She applied for a pardon but received no response to that application. She also refers to the long delay following her arrival here before any effort was made to seek her surrender, even though the authorities appear to have known her whereabouts here.

13

She swore a further affidavit in October 2010. Again, she refers to her bad health, stating that she has heart disease as well as diabetes and exhibits evidence in relation to these ailments. She states that she and her family are very happy and by now well settled in this State. She gives details of how her children...

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2 cases
  • Minister for Justice & Equality v Vestartas
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 2 April 2020
    ...judgments (see, Minister for Justice and Equality v. Duffy [2019] IEHC 127 and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform v. Dunkova [2011] IEHC 36, where Irish courts had refused to have regard to such matters, deeming them questions to be considered by the courts of the issuing 8 The r......
  • Minister for Justice & Equality v Vestartas
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 2 April 2020
    ...judgments (see, Minister for Justice and Equality v. Duffy [2019] IEHC 127 and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform v. Dunkova [2011] IEHC 36, where Irish courts had refused to have regard to such matters, deeming them questions to be considered by the courts of the issuing 8 The r......

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