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08 March 2019

Case Study: Successful removal of a Turkish conviction

Background

Our client, Mr T, a serving member of the armed forces, was initially arrested in March 2016 following an extradition request issued by the Turkish authorities. Despite not being informed of a trial taking place, he was convicted of an alleged crime dating back to 2006 and sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment.

After considerable defence investigations and the instruction of Turkish legal experts, it was shown that Mr T was not informed of his trial, was convicted in absentia without any defence evidence being called, and would not be entitled to a re-trial. After successful defence representations, the extradition request was discharged by Westminster Magistrates’ Court in February 2017.

In May 2018, Mr T received notification from Avon and Somerset Police that the Turkish conviction had been recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC). Furthermore, the police had made an application to the court for a Notification Order. The recording of the conviction, and the application by the police, would result in his dismissal from the armed forces and would also restrict his liberty.

Outcome

Numerous applications for a Notification Order were successfully resisted and the District Judge was persuaded instead to grant only an interim Notification Order, pending defence representations to have the conviction removed. Extensive written representations, together with expert evidence, were made to ACRO Criminal Records Office (ACRO) and the Home Office, for the conviction to be removed on the basis that the conviction was unsafe as the trial process constituted a flagrant denial of justice, contrary to Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

On 6 March 2019, our client received notification from ACRO that the Home Office had concluded that the conviction should be removed from the PNC as the original conviction was unsafe. Furthermore, not only was the Turkish conviction removed, but ACRO notified the Metropolitan Police to remove any entry on the PNC relating to the extradition request and will ask Avon and Somerset Police to delete any information they hold.

Mr T has been represented throughout proceedings by Anthony Hanratty and Ben Cooper of Doughty Street Chambers.

Read feedback from the client, here. 

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