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Portuguese Men O Law

The long tentacles of the Portuguese Judiciary have reached out and wrapped themselves around another Briton. This time it is not just a name that we read in the papers, it is one of our own, a fellow blogger, indeed one of my fellow authors on this site.
20 years ago, Graham was young, free and single. He took a few days break from work, and went fishing with his friend. Sunshine, a few cold beers, and obliging fish – many of you will have done the same thing, but not with such dire consequences.
They flew off to the Algarve, full of banter and good cheer. So did a young German tourist, Andre Jorling. They stayed at camp sites some 15 miles apart. They did not know each other. Andre Jorling was involved in a skirmish during which he fell or was pushed over a concrete wall and broke his back. He has been paralysed ever since. The entire affair has been a tragedy for him.
Unfortunately for Graham and his friend Warren, a security guard was of the opinion that the two of them were the last people he had seen in that vicinity and he was of the opinion that one or both of them had pushed Andre. Andre wasn’t given the opportunity to identify them, either from photographs or in person.
Graham and Warren were charged with homicidio naoforma tenda, the nearest equivalent of which in British law is unlawful wounding /inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm with intent, contrary to section 18 of the OAPA. To be convicted of this offence, the defendant must be proved to have committed really serious harm, or wounded another person (for example by stabbing with a knife). However, the damage must be intended. It is a very serious offence, in the UK as in Portugal. Bail is unlikely to be given, and a long prison sentence is normal when the case is finally heard at the Crown Court, so what followed for Graham and Warren would have been roughly the same in either country. However, it is hard to believe that in Britain there are any circumstances which would have resulted in Graham having a pistol thrust into his mouth by an officer involved in his arrest.
Graham and Warren were remanded to Faro prison, and there they stayed for 54 weeks, a year and two weeks. When the case finally came to trial, it was revealed that the victim had never identified either man, indeed, had given a description of his assailants which bore no relation to Graham or Warren;  when he was given the opportunity to identify them in court, he pointed out two completely different individuals.
Graham and Warren were acquitted of the offence. It is important to reiterate that they were not cleared by some technicality of having been involved in the incident but, perhaps, not having the necessary intent to be found guilty – they were acquitted because there was no evidence that they had been in any way part of the incident.
You might think that having finally got out of a foreign jail after a year, having had a pistol thrust in his mouth, and his life turned upside down, that they might have jumped on the next plane back to Blighty. They didn’t, they had become something of a cause célèbre with the British media by then, who had been making a Panorama documentary of the trial and who kindly bankrolled a weeks rest and recuperation – and a little fishing – before they flew home. They had no ties, they were young free and single!
When they did return to England, it was to their previous home, and to try to pick up the pieces of their life. Graham became a press photographer, specialising in covering demonstrations. He is a big man, an ex Scots Guardsman and well able to take care of himself. He quite enjoys the jostle and commotion of the average EDL demonstration or the Dale Farm saga, and comes away with some excellent photographs. Readers here have been lucky enough to read his first hand accounts of what actually transpires, rather than viewing it through the Main Stream Media prism.
Warren’s parents emigrated to America, and so far, I have only been able to track Warren to Australia, whether he is still there or not, I do not know. Certainly the two friends lost contact some 17 years ago.
Graham married five years ago, and last Tuesday night there was a knock at his door, as he sat eating dinner with his wife. A posse of burly policemen. They had with them a European Arrest Warrant, apparently for the arrest of one large ex-Scots Guardsman wanted for murder. An international fugitive. (The warrant had arrived care of SOCA – the serious crimes squad) They were as sensitive as is quite probably appropriate under the circumstances. Which is not very. Who can blame them? It was dark, seven o’clock at night, and they had a job to do. Without further explanation – for they had no other information – they carted Graham off to Canterbury police station.
Eventually they produced a duty solicitor; Graham didn’t have one of his own, you tend not to do so when you are a law abiding member of the public. She agreed to appear on Graham’s behalf at Westminster Magistrates Court the next morning. Graham spent a sleepless night in the police cells, he was baffled; why would he be being charged with murder 20 years after he had been acquitted of Grievous Bodily Harm? Had Andre Jorling died? Was he even the right Graham Mitchell? He had spent 20 years trying to forget the details of what had occurred, now he was desperately trying to remember everything from the Process number of the Charge to the Portuguese attorney who had defended him. The police knew nothing beyond the fact that he was allegedly a fugitive murderer that they were charged with keeping in custody.
The next day in court there were more surprises. On a European Arrest Warrant there are a number of tick boxes showing the reason for the arrest; things like ‘absconded from bail’ or ‘failed to pay fine’ – none of them were ticked on this warrant, not one. It merely said he was wanted for ‘first degree murder’ – an American term in itself, meaningless under British Law. The Magistrate gave the duty solicitor time during the day to see if she could get any more information – by the end of the day the only reply she had had from the Portuguese was that it would take them three weeks to come up with more information! The Magistrate had no choice other than to remand Graham in custody once more.
This time he was taken to Wandsworth prison. He was labelled an international fugitive, and a man wanted for murder, both of which automatically made him a category ‘A’ prisoner. He spent the night on the wing reserved for the ‘hard nuts’ and the Al Qaeda mob who have taken up semi-permanent residence on that wing. He may be a Scotsman and an ex-guardsman, but even he was being mentally affected by all this. His wife was beside herself.
Fortunately, he and his wife have a large and supportive family. They managed to arrange bail for him, his in-laws standing surety; his passport has been surrendered and he has to report daily to Canterbury police station. They have never moved far from the network of streets where he lived when he was first arrested, he has always been registered on the electoral roll, had utility bills in his name, bank accounts, paid his tax and insurance – whatever was the reason behind this warrant, he could not understand why it had taken the Portuguese authorities 20 years to find him if they had wanted him back. They had never been in communication with him.
I have spent the past few days, with the aid of a more than helpful Portuguese friend, searching the database for the Court of Appeal in Lisbon. She has also searched all the Portuguese media. It occurred to me that perhaps Graham’s acquittal had been appealed and subsequently overturned – it is not unknown under Civil Law. All I can say is that unless there is a spelling mistake on the database, there is no record of any appeal either in the name of Graham Mitchell or his friend Warren Tozer. Nothing
Perhaps Andre Jorling had died and there was some way in which the charge could be reinvigorated? The only mention of his name comes in the Portuguese media at the time of the original case, or in translated versions of what has been printed in Britain over the past few days, and one lone report in a German paper back in 1994. If the man had died you would expect someone somewhere to have taken an interest? Even if Jorling had subsequently died, why re-open the case against a man who was proven to have had nothing to do with the incident?
There is no doubt that Graham Mitchell was acquitted, and under the circumstances I have described – I was cautious enough to have checked that out too, perhaps he had just been released on bail and had misunderstood? But as I said, there was a Panorama team following the trial and the Daily Mail covering it on the ground as well.
Has Warren Tozer been traced and arrested too? No one knows. Another ludicrous aspect of the entire affair – for they were jointly charged, there could not be a retrial of just half of the suspected perpetrators.
As an indication of what may be facing Graham now, the Portuguese national João Vale e Azevedo has been facing a string of charges loosely related to his time as chairman of the Benfica football club. I say loosely because the complexity of the charges and counter charges would make your head spin. HERE if you feel like tackling the only ‘safe’ version written in English rather than Babelfish translations. Football is more than just the ‘glorious game’ in Portugal, it has religious and political status. João is a high flying jurist and international lawyer, a Portuguese national who totally understands his own legal system. He has spent several years in prison, being acquitted of some charges only to be re-arrested and put back in prison on new ones within minutes – and has spent the past five years in London fighting a European Arrest Warrant designed to bring him back into the Portuguese judicial system. If he can’t successfully navigate the Portuguese legal system, it doesn’t bode well for Graham sorting this out quickly.
All the European Arrest Warrant has to say is that you are wanted in ‘x’ country on ‘y’ charge – no evidence has to be laid before the UK courts. Fortunately for Graham the charity Fair Trials International, who helped Graham during the original trial, have stepped in to help him again. He has to appear in court again tomorrow and we wish him luck.
Please show your support for Graham in the comments, and let him know that the blogging community won’t forget about him. My Portuguese blogging friend has already offered to do any translation work that he needs. What he needs most is his moral boosting and the knowledge that he won’t again languish forgotten in a foreign jail for a year.
{ 85 comments }
ClareMarch 21, 2012 at 02:25
As ridiculous now as it was 18 years old. Not in the UK anymore but if there’s anything I can do to help, let me know Graham. Clare
MarkMarch 20, 2012 at 11:08
I notice that the Today program has picked up on this story – as usual a week behind the blogosphere.
RGillmoreMarch 20, 2012 at 07:17
I’m not privy to full facts of this case, but it seems interesting that many have been praising the change in the double jeopardy law in recent months. It is a little rich to assume the legal system in the UK is the only valid one.
Mike BloomfieldMarch 17, 2012 at 10:37
Speaking of Magna Carta, it would appear that she did die in vain.
John ThorogoodMarch 16, 2012 at 08:19
This is crazy – high time for the Extradition Laws to be goven a complete overhaul.
KatabasisMarch 15, 2012 at 18:18
This is getting beyond belief. Our society gets more kafkaesque by the day.
Obscure and misunderstood infractions and minutae can land you in prison like this, whilst beating someone and putting their windows through is apparently unpunishable (this just happened to a friend of mine and I will be blogging on it very shortly…).
BoudiccaMarch 14, 2012 at 20:46
I am outraged by this story and by the principle of the European Arrest Warrent in general. IF there is good reason to suspect someone of a crime in a foreign country, then we should be prepared to extradite. But this doesn’t mean handing over British citizens to the dubious justice systems of other countries when they are required to produce NO evidence to support their application.
We must fight the EAW because it breaks the British legal principle of Habeas Corpus and the rights which were enshrined in Magna Carta not to be imprisoned without evidence of wrongdoing.
Mr Mitchell must know that ordinary British people are aware of and are supporting his cause. Please keep us informed on progress.
catMarch 14, 2012 at 15:16
We in the UK, well our Government, and Police Forces seem rather quick to hand people over under an EAW agreement.
Shame we cannot get rid of suspected Terrorists quite so easily.
Good luck Graham.
honestbrokerMarch 14, 2012 at 18:55
The UK made no attempt to extradite Ms Dark at any stage.
PC LightyearMarch 14, 2012 at 20:58
Government – yes, police forces however don’t have a choice. The EAW scheme itself is wrong. It assumes foreign courts and judicial systems are as the same as ours when it comes to checks and balances, they aren’t.
PC LightyearMarch 14, 2012 at 22:59
checking wordpress
honestbrokerMarch 14, 2012 at 14:53
One point I hope will come to Graham’s aid, here, is just about the only ground on which an EAW can be challenged — that an unreasonable passage of time has elapsed since the original incident that gave rise to the eaw being issued in the first place.
That is what rescued Deborah Dark, whose case was still more scandalous than Graham’s. She was actually tried in France and *acquitted* on charges of driving a car laden with illicit drugs. She went home rejoicing and thought that was that.
But in her absence and without her knowledge, the prosecution appealed the aquittal and won. An EAW was raised for her to return to France to serve a 6 year prison sentence. First Ms Dark knew was, on a trip to Spain 20 years later, when she was arrested by Spanish customs.
Spain refused to extradite Ms Dark on grounds of the passage of time.
I fervently hope a similar judgement will rescue Graham in this case …
EurolawyerMarch 17, 2012 at 22:41
Unreasonable passage of time maybe, but the really important point is that Graham was acquitted at an earlier trial. Article 50 of the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights unambiguously stipulates against double jeopardy: “No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again in criminal proceedings for an offence for which he or she has already been finally acquitted or convicted within the Union in accordance with the law” (there is not even an exception allowing for multiple prosecutions connected with the murder of the sainted Stephen Lawrence).
It is hard to see how an EAW can be valid if it conflicts with one of the most fundamental rules of EU law itself! There looks to be a promising case for damages against the Potuguese and no British judge should touch this with a bargepole.
honestbrokerMarch 20, 2012 at 17:01
Now that is really interesting. I tended to assume from the Deborah Dark case (where there was acquittal, retrial in absentia and conviction) that double jeopardy just didn’t apply to EAWs.
Clearly I was wrong.
Why did it take the French so long to drop its warrant against Ms Dark?
And why was it raised in the first place?
davidbfpoMarch 14, 2012 at 14:37
Graham,
Incredible. Julain Brazier MP maybe an option, I’d certainly consider using the links to the Scots Guards, who have in the past even moved the likes of Robert Mugabe to change their minds.
Just a reminder Portugal is our oldest ally. A nice point to make in any letter to those who should help here.
Even worse after reading this article and thinking will I write to my MP? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9141284/The-DNA-of-Britons-could-be-passed-on-in-EU-data-sharing-scheme.html
Daedalus X. ParrotMarch 14, 2012 at 09:15
Graham,
Best of Luck.
I’ll be writing to my MP about this.
DailyhammerMarch 14, 2012 at 08:51
As no evidence is required to issue a warrant would it not be prudent to try and get warrants issued for say the prosecuting Portuguese lawyer, Judge and anyone else that has put their name to this farce.
Use the Euro warrant system against itself.
Wee Jock McTavishMarch 14, 2012 at 08:29
This story, though by no means unique, is an outrage. Who now believes one of the purposes of government is to protect its citizens? The politicians have signed our rights and liberties away and placed us under the thrall of a foreign power, and nobody has batted an eyelid. Graham deserves our active support – there must be something we can do, not just for Graham but for all future British citizens arrested and shipped off to some corner of a foreign field… that is forever unjust.
Tarka I couldn’t have put it better myself. Graham our thoughts are with you and your family. Take care.
jaxthefirstMarch 14, 2012 at 01:42
Your story,
Please do elaborate …
Angry ExileMarch 14, 2012 at 01:00
/speechless
George SpellerMarch 13, 2012 at 23:14
So much to get angry about, so little time . . . .

Keep us updated on this please.
Your story isn’t 100%March 13, 2012 at 22:26
You need to get your facts right – lots of your story is incorrect
Bill StickerMarch 18, 2012 at 19:52
Explain why you believe this to be so, please. Citing case and details wherever possible.
bruceMarch 13, 2012 at 22:26
Is there any way we can help?
Tarka the RotterMarch 13, 2012 at 22:02
This story, though by no means unique, is an outrage. Who now believes one of the purposes of government is to protect its citizens? The politicians have signed our rights and liberties away and placed us under the thrall of a foreign power, and nobody has batted an eyelid. Graham deserves our active support – there must be something we can do, not just for Graham but for all future British citizens arrested and shipped off to some corner of a foreign field… that is forever unjust.
ChâtelaineMarch 13, 2012 at 21:13
Article 8

Content and form of the European arrest warrant

1. The European arrest warrant shall contain the following information set out in accordance with the form contained in the Annex:

(a) the identity and nationality of the requested person;

(b) the name, address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address of the issuing judicial authority;

(c) evidence of an enforceable judgment, an arrest warrant or any other enforceable judicial decision having the same effect, coming within the scope of Articles 1 and 2;

(d) the nature and legal classification of the offence, particularly in respect of Article 2;

(e) a description of the circumstances in which the offence was committed, including the time, place and degree of participation in the offence by the requested person;

(f) the penalty imposed, if there is a final judgment, or the prescribed scale of penalties for the offence under the law of the issuing Member State;

(g) if possible, other consequences of the offence.
Seems [e] has been completely lacking …
Bill StickerMarch 18, 2012 at 19:15
If matters are as portrayed, then the warrant was incomplete, and should not have been served or enforced.
(c) also appears to be significantly lacking
No wonder I’m considering giving up my UK (and subsequently EU) citizenship. One might have little to hide, but who can say for certain they have nothing to fear, especially from clerical error.
Peter SMarch 13, 2012 at 20:26
‘Remember that the majority of eu civil law countries work on the basis that unless it is decreed that something is permissible then you have to assume it is not.’

Wrong, it’s the other way about: everything is permitted unless specifically prohibited under the civil/criminal code.
RobMarch 13, 2012 at 19:18
Welcome to the liberal paradise. The “European Ideal” produced this shit. Wonder why the BBC is all over the US extraditions but has popped this one into the memory hole?
@GhostOfWinstonMarch 13, 2012 at 18:26
I have tweeted this. Will all Tweeters please RT? This needs to go viral. No need to follow me, unless you wish, just go to

https://twitter.com/#!/GhostOfWinston/

and click re-tweet on the relevant tweet…”This is truly dreadful……”
Dick PuddlecoteMarch 13, 2012 at 18:01
Quite ridiculous! Very best of luck, Graham.
I suppose it’s too much to ask that Hague might start saying ‘enough is enough’ with the EAW?
MontyMarch 13, 2012 at 17:52
Elena ‘andcart March 13, 2012 at 14:58

Sad to say, I am not in the least surprised. Best not to go to Portugal at all.

———–

Doesn’t help you Elena. They can demand your extradition without ever having to provide evidence for any assertion they make. Even if you could prove you’d never even been to Portugal, you wouldn’t be given the opportunity to even say so. They could literally make something up on the spur of the moment, and you’d be handed over.
One question I still have about the EAW procedure: If someone from the UK is extradited to another EU jurisdiction, on whatever pretext, could that country then extradite the subject on to a third country outside the EU? For example to a middle eastern or african dictatorship? The temptation would be there for an EU country in desperate need of a sweet deal with say the Iranians- offer to snare and then render up some British critic of the mullahs regime, in return for an oil and gas deal. That would be particularly stinky, but I’ve seen nothing to assure me it couldn’t happen.
Ken AlexanderMarch 13, 2012 at 19:10
Isn’t this what Julian Assange was fighting – extradition to Sweden on rape “charges” and then being seamlessly rendered onto the US over Wikileaks ?
Elena ‘andcartMarch 14, 2012 at 15:58
True, Monty. But at least you might have some chance of proving that you have never been there. I have been there, which is why I know it’s lovely. But I wouldn’t go again. And I could tell tales about The PJ that would make your hair stand on end.

Yes, Ken Alexander, Julian Assange is a case in point, especially since his “Crime” doesn’t appear to be a crime in Britain.

And No, I don’t like the sound of him, but that isn’t the point.
Fred ThrungMarch 13, 2012 at 16:23
I want to add to the support of Graham in his ridiculous predicament. Surely his MP can get some sense out of the situation? The difference between this and the recent US extradition requests is that in the US cases the complaint was clear.
Quiet_ManMarch 13, 2012 at 16:03
Dear Lord! They bang on and on about human rights, have judges pass some ludicrous decisions and yet do this without even a blink.

Can we please just leave and end this farce?
WitteringWitneyMarch 13, 2012 at 15:50
Anna, unless I have missed owt in the post, no mention of where Graham lives so presumably Canterbury?
Has his MP been contacted? If Canterbury the it is Julian Brazier, Tory.
Anyway, best of luck to him – let us hope it is all an administrative error.
CatobitesbackMarch 13, 2012 at 15:45
What a travesty! Surely the magistrate/judge could have dismissed the warrant when told that the deceased was alive.
I can just imagine going in front of the Stipendiary at Greenwich Magistrates Court with that load of crap. He’d have handed me my head on a platter.
Anna RaccoonMarch 13, 2012 at 16:22
The magistrate had no proof the alleged victim was alive. However, we do now, see my update.
Elena ‘andcartMarch 13, 2012 at 14:58
Sad to say, I am not in the least surprised. Best not to go to Portugal at all.

Such a pity because it is a lovely country, but The Police are often not to be trusted.
nisakimanMarch 13, 2012 at 17:28
I’m afraid the police are not to be trusted in any country in the world. It’s a fact of life we have to live with. As is oft quoted: “power corrupts….etc”.
Elena ‘andcartMarch 14, 2012 at 15:48
The Portuguese Police are much more prone to picking on people without any evidence, and then fitting them up. They have been doing it for years, and without any assistance from Britain to Brits unfortunate enough to get swept up in their system.

Until recently.
BoulayMarch 13, 2012 at 14:56
This is sadly one of the absolutely ridiculous side effects of latching Britain with its common law traditions to the eu with its civil law traditions.
The rights of man enshrined under common law in the old uk have been overwhelmed by the civil law approach where you are effectively guilty until proven innocent.
Remember that the majority of eu civil law countries work on the basis that unless it is decreed that something is permissible then you have to assume it is not which is why they are all fcked up bureaucracies and why we were able in the past to innovate and grow.
I cannot for the life of me work out why mps, especially Tory mps, have not demanded an end to this disgraceful warrant law.
People like ken clarke who seem to put the intricacies of “law” above all else should be told to start protecting our common law tradition and our rights to protection as British nationals.
Perhaps graham should have obtained a Somali passport or similar and then nobody would dare deport him…..
Good luck graham.
Furor TeutonicusMarch 14, 2012 at 13:06
XX Remember that the majority of eu civil law countries work on the basis that unless it is decreed that something is permissible then you have to assume it is not XX
Bollox!
It is logically IMPOSSIBLE to have such a legal system.
Or do you think we all get arrested here in Germany because we step of onto the zebra crossing left foot first, when the law does not say we can do that?
Grundgesetz. §2. The right to free personal expression. The right to life, and fredom from bodily harm. (Jede kann tun und lassen was er will. (Everyone can do and allow what they want)), in as far as the same rights of other people are not harmed.
Only through a specific law, can these rights be shortened. (Art. 2 II 3 Grundgesetz, and Art. 104 GG zusätzliche rechtsstaatliche Garantien.) “These laws state; “The freedom of the person can only be restricted as a result of a formal law (making something illegal, is an example), and only under strict adherence to the conditions laid down within that law.

The police may not, except by court order, hold ANY person longer than 24 hours, and MUST be taken before a court (Habeus Corpus), for the Judge to decide if the person a) has a charge to answer, b) if the person can be held longer.
Does this sound like that full of pig shit “theory” that the Brits appear to have over “unless it is decreed that something is permissible then you have to assume it is not “?????
MjolinirMarch 13, 2012 at 14:54
Daily Mail – 8 March – says Miss Jenny Agnew, representing Mr Mitchell, said: ‘We need clarification as to why the arrest warrant says first degree murder when the victim is still alive.’

The case was adjourned to allow the prosecutors time to explain the anomaly.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2111879/Briton-faces-sent-prison-Portugal.html#ixzz1p0avc3Gi
ChâtelaineMarch 13, 2012 at 14:20
Just one thing to add to my previous comment: there are two nations involved in this case. IF the Portuguese delivered an invalid EAW, WHY did the U.K. react on it instead of requesting a formally correct and documented request?
I am presently trying to read up to the 2002 EU decision [as I am sure Anna and others will have done], but unfortunately am not progressing as fast I would want to, as I’m watching the Leveson Inquiry at the same time
BrianMarch 13, 2012 at 14:03
Good Luck Graham.
Blue EyesMarch 13, 2012 at 13:55
This is quite incredible. The media should be all over this. Isn’t this *exactly* what we are told the ECHR is for, to stop tinpot judicial systems riding rough-shod over basic established rights?
JuliaMMarch 13, 2012 at 13:54
A horrible thought has just occurred to me… this isn’t the photographer who blogs at Mitchell Images (http://mitchell-images-blog.blogspot.com/), is it?
Spiral ArchitectMarch 13, 2012 at 14:39
I see what you’re getting at………very nasty.
Any connections between Lisbon and Damascus……..we need to be told.
The F.O. should get on to this – anything dodgy that can be substantiated should mean that Britain should immediately repudiate the agreement.
Not that David ‘much sympathy for Tappin’ Cameron is a reliable bloke to have when things cut up nasty.
Ed PMarch 13, 2012 at 13:52
Good luck Graham
I shall not be holidaying in Portugal (or any other Euronazi zone) for quite some time.
As S.A. said, if the EAW charge is murder, “where’s the body”?
ToastandMarmiteMarch 13, 2012 at 13:49
A search on BBC news and the Guardina site for ‘Graham Mitchell’ and ‘Andre Jorling’ returns precisely….ZERO results.
As Julia M notes, if the facts of the case were exactly the same but it was an American warrant, I would full expect this to be a lead story.
I leave others to draw their conclusions…
JuliaMMarch 13, 2012 at 14:19
The ‘Mail’ has it, though. Dated March 8th.
JuliaMMarch 13, 2012 at 13:32
I wonder if this story will attract even half the media attention given to a certain ‘autistic’ hacker or even the most recent businessman sting operation?
Probably not, since the US isn’t the guilty party this time.
Spiral ArchitectMarch 13, 2012 at 13:43
Get Christopher Booker on it.
PericlesMarch 13, 2012 at 13:29
I’m confident that the optimism expressed in some of the comments above is entirely misplaced.
Face it, people (I address here the people of England), you now live in the Union of European Socialist Republics and there is no chance whatever that either of the Messrs. Heath – the First Lord of the Treasury and, what’s the other one called, the First Butler of the Treasury ? – will intervene on Mr. Mitchell’s behalf.
Nor am I convinced the comparison, as by M Barnes, with the works of Franz Kafka is appropriate :  I don’t think Kafka could have come up with anything as bizarre as the European Union.  The sooner the peoples of its colonies – or, as the Reich prefers to be call them, member states – rise up and deal with the Oberstgruppenführer as they should be dealt with, the better.  We make too little use of assassination these days.
The fact that Labour introduced this law is nothing to the point :  had Mr. Heath had anything remotely resembling a spine, the European Arrest Warrant would have been invalid in the U.K. the day after his kissing of hands.  Heath out, I say !
ΠΞ
GonkioneMarch 13, 2012 at 13:21
Gildas; Didn’t H.C. get abolished under Blair?

Amfortas; Since the police became politicised under NuLiebore they don’t give a f***k about defending law abiding citizens. The only evidence they seem to investigate is assumptions that turn a victim into a villain.

Spiral A; It seems that when some faceless dick in Europe decides so, any rights an Englishman may have are just swept aside.

Chatelaine; I hope you are right. Good luck to Graham.
GildasTheMonkMarch 13, 2012 at 13:03
What happened to Habeas Corpus?!!!
Woman on a RaftMarch 13, 2012 at 14:53
Eloped with Double Jeopardy.
That famous liberal lawyer, Michael Mansfield QC, was driving the Quatro they shot off in. I hope he’s proud of himself.
I’d be cross with the Portuguese for trying to reopen an acquittal but I don’t think we have much to boast about here.
Spiral ArchitectMarch 13, 2012 at 13:01
Just a final thought that has occurred to me.
Proven foreign terrorists can’t be deported for trial in Jordan because their human rights might be infringed…………but British citizens can be whisked off to foreign lands on the basis of……..er………..no evidence whatsoever.
Amazing eh?
Furor TeutonicusMarch 14, 2012 at 12:28
XX but British citizens can be whisked off to foreign lands on the basis of……..er………..XX
That, in theory, they have the same protetion regarding human rights in the arresting country, (here Porugal), as they do anywhere else in the E.U. (In this case Britain.)
It is part of the requirements for membership. Which makes it all the more mysterious as to why Britain is pushing for Turkeys membership.
Friend of DogMarch 13, 2012 at 12:47
This case only goes to accentuate the unfairness and downright cruelty of the European Arrest Warrant. The legislation was drawn up by the unelected and faceless bureaucrats in Brussels who rely on an imperfect knowledge of the various laws of the disparate countries that make up this Union. The way these warrants are issued, without supporting evidence, guarantees of adequate legal representation and proficient interpretation, smacks of the justice system of the worst kind od Communist dictatorship.
Spiral ArchitectMarch 13, 2012 at 13:01
Exactly………….not only are many countries insufficiently competent and moral to run with the same currency, but many don’t have proper systems of justice either.
Spiral ArchitectMarch 13, 2012 at 12:42
Er………….Murder?
Er…………..where’s the body?
This is not at all surprising, after all………..any government that is big enough to give you all you want, is big enough to take all you have.
The EU is a fascist dictatorship.
ChâtelaineMarch 13, 2012 at 12:26
I cannot believe this!!!! It just doesn’t make any sense.
Good luck to Graham. I’m confident that there will be people, organisations, more then presently already involved, who are be able to find a way out of this rat hole situation … And also some who have the contacts and the power to raise this with the European Commission itself.
AmfortasMarch 13, 2012 at 12:07
And there was I thinking the Portugese were nice folk. But wait… it was British coppers that arrested him this time, on account of a bit of Portugese paper. Have they not swore an oath to uphold our Common Law? Are they not there to Serve and Protect British citizens? What has happened to Britain?
JuliaMMarch 13, 2012 at 13:30
You might well ask.
AndrewMarch 13, 2012 at 15:19
It’s certainly an interesting article, especially given that it follows one about great the police are…
ProdicusMarch 14, 2012 at 13:30
Good point.
SadButMadLadMarch 13, 2012 at 12:00
I’ve emailed over 100 of my contacts to pass on the message. If you’re not sure what to send to your contacts please feel free to nick and plagerise my email which is below.
Dear reader,
This is an email sent to all my contacts. I have your email address because we have been in touch at some point in the past, maybe brief, maybe dim and distant. My apologies if you have received this and no longer wish to keep in touch with me, just let me know and I’ll remove your address from my contact list.
So why have I written this email? Because Graham Mitchell, a fellow blogger and press photographer has been arrested under the European Arrest Warrant for a crime that he was acquitted of 20 years ago. He was not just found innocent on some technicality, he was found totally innocent of the crime because the victim identified other people as his attackers. However though he was free after spending 54 weeks in prison (in a story covered by the Daily Mail at the time) some 20 years later, the Portuguese authorities have found some reason (which even his lawyer can’t fathom out) to re-arrest him. Due to the Portuguese not filling out the EAW form properly he has been allowed bail, but only after he spent a short time in Wandsworth prison as a category A prisoner. He could be going to Portugal at any time, to spend weeks, possibly months in prison while waiting for his case to wend it way through the Portuguese legal system. All to be found not guilty again.
His story has been written about on http://www.annaraccoon.co.uk/ where I urge you to go and read it. If you feel as strongly as I do, please pass on the link to all your contacts. Please tweet it and put it on your facebook wall as well.
The direct link to the story is http://www.annaraccoon.co.uk/madeleine-mccann/portuguese-men-o-law/
If you’re wondering why Madeleine Mccann is in the URL above it is because it involves the same police who investigated her case so brilliantly – not! So you can see why Graham is very likely not to get a fair trail.
Jon

SBML – See more of my witterings on annaraccoon.co.uk
mitchell-imagesMarch 13, 2012 at 14:10
Hi, First of all, thank you so much for your help in highlighting my plight. It is a great help to me and my family that people are taking the time to help in whatever way they can.
However, can I just point out that the reason for me being granted bail is not due to a mistake on the warrant as such. It is due to the judge needing to confirm that I have indeed been acquitted of a similar charge in the past. The Portuguese authorities needed more time to confirm this.
JuliaMMarch 13, 2012 at 14:18
I gues that answers my question…
JohnBMarch 13, 2012 at 11:56
All the best.

Keep cool and have a good and influential Portuguese lawyer.

Perhaps Panorama might investigate a follow up?
andy5759March 14, 2012 at 16:41
JohnB, no chance, the B-BBC will stay away from that.
Good luck Graham.
GildasTheMonkMarch 13, 2012 at 11:42
This is apalling

I’m up for this one Anna…

G the M
M BarnesMarch 13, 2012 at 11:37
Kafka wasn’t a fiction writer at all was he? Good luck to you and yours Graham.
2MacMarch 13, 2012 at 11:10
Typical of the stupid knee jerk laws passed by Labour. We are now subject to the laws of countries whose laws we do not understand. Surely this is all a misunderstanding.
Panorama, Daily Mail plus court documents showing the man was aquitted should surely stand up even in a Portugese court.
Good Luck Graham.
PC LightyearMarch 14, 2012 at 20:54
Spot on.
I’ve loved reading Graham’s coverage of public order/disorder events on his blog.
All the best Graham.
Ken AlexanderMarch 13, 2012 at 10:40
Good luck Graham.

With luck, the Keystone Kops that can’t find a missing 4 year old

will have just as much success finding an alleged murder victim and the “case” will be dropped.
All the best to you and your family through this worrying time.
HysteriaMarch 13, 2012 at 10:39
“All the European Arrest Warrant has to say is that you are wanted in ‘x’ country on ‘y’ charge – no evidence has to be laid before the UK courts”
Holy Cow ! But of course the mother of parliaments, the elected members of our sovereign parliament would never allow such a thing to be even contemplated…..oh – wait …
The Filthy EngineerMarch 13, 2012 at 10:22
Do keep us updated on this. All I can say is. I’m gobsmacked.
Good luck Graham.
Spiral ArchitectMarch 13, 2012 at 12:44
Why are you ‘gobsmacked’?
This is all par for the EU course.
JuliaMMarch 13, 2012 at 13:28
I have to agree with SA. It’s an outrage and I’m disgusted, but I’m not in any way surprised…
#GhostOfWinstonMarch 13, 2012 at 17:59
Hear Hear! UK Government is reduced to the status of County Council under the EU.
StephenMarch 13, 2012 at 21:42
Ridiculous and shameful.
(No doubt Ken Clarke will tell us “this does not happen”.)
{ 9 trackbacks }

Longrider » The EU Arrest Warrant
EU Arrest Warrant | Orphans of Liberty
Exclusive – Update on the Portuguese European Arrest Warrant.
Chemtrailery. | underdogs bite upwards
Abuse of law | Anonymong
EU Arrest warrants – ease of abuse | The Bill Sticker Alternative
Western Destiny » Portuguese Men O Law
Graham Mitchell | European Arrest Warrant | Portuguese Police
Update | Graham Mitchell | European Arrest Warrant | Portuguese Justice

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