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Czech Court has rejected compensation for unlawful extradition

Czech Court has rejected compensation for unlawful extradition

A Czech district court has rejected a complaint from a Russian man regarding his extradition. On the 10th October in Prague, the Czech district court rejected the legal complaint that was made by a Russian man, Mr. Torubarov. Torubarov placed a claim for two million crowns as compensation for his extradition to Russia. The extradition is claimed to have been unlawful.

The district courts verdict has not yet taken effect but it was held that Torubarov complaint was rejected because he had failed to submit substantial evidence that the extradition caused Torubarov to suffer damages amounting to more than proprietary harm.

Svetlana, Torubarov’s wife had also placed a claim for compensation, the value also being for two million crowns. Svetlana however withdrew her claim for compensation merely days before the verdict on Torubarov’s compensation, this was withdrawn without any justification.

In 2009 Torubarov was subject to accusations made by the Russian authorities regarding his involvement in business fraud. A year later in 2010 Interpol launched an investigation into his whereabouts.

According to Torubarov at an Auction he attempted to buy a restaurant he had already been leasing, but was cheated out of the funds. He then goes on to claim that his business partners, working alongside the Federal Security Service went on to accuse him of being the orchestrator of the same fraud which he claims to be the victim of.

In 2011, Torubarov was detained by the Czech police at the Czech- Austrian border, Torubarov had been enroute to Italy for a holiday. He applied to the Czech Republic for asylum but was taken into police custody because there was a warrant out for his arrest. Russia has informed the Czech Republic that they wanted Torubarov extradited.

In May of 2013 it was decided by the Pavel Blazek, former Justice Minister, that even though Torubarov’s petition for asylum was still pending, he was to be extradited. Torubarov remained in Russia for six months before fleeing again this time he fled to Hungary.

The decision to extradite Torubarov caused rifts in the political sphere, on the day of Torubarov’s extradition the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic attempted to block the flight taking off. The foreign Minister placed a cargo plane in front of Torubarov’s plane in order to stop the plane taking off. The flight was delayed slightly but the cargo plane was moved and Torubarov was extradited to Russia. 

Svetlana appeared before the Czech court to represent her husband as Torubarov did not want to risk a further extradition if he returned.

Torubarov’s top extradition lawyer stated that his health had been damaged due to the unlawful extradition, he went on to state that Torubarov continues to live in a perpetual state of stress and fear at the thought of another extradition. Torubarov claims he does not feel safe anywhere after he faced an attempt on his life.

In July of 2010 whilst in a Viennese prison an inmate attempted to slit Torubarov’s throat. He has held his own strength saved his life, alongside the fact the assassin used the wrong edge of the knife in his attempt.

In 2013 Torubarov was imprisoned in a Russian prison after being extradited from the Czech Republic, the conditions in the prison were described as inhumane.

The Judge held that because there was no proof put forward to the court of the proclaimed interference with health then they had to reject the claim. The justice ministry agreed with the line of argument from the judge and also added that the Czech Republic could not be held responsible for harm that was caused due to the prosecution and custody in Russia.

Torubarov's top extradition lawyer argued that he could not submit evidence of the harm caused because Russian authorities would not provide it. He went on to say that the decision was absurd due to the proof being out of their control.

The Czech constitutional court ruled in 2014 that the Justice Ministry should not decide on extradition proceeding until results of asylum requests have been determined. The court went on to find that the extradition had violated international treaties.

Torubarov was a businessman in the city of Volgograd, he had owned ten restaurants prior to the cases brought against him. Torubarov and Russia both agree on this one fact but the accounts then differ as to the reasons behind Torubarov’s warrant for arrest.

According to Torubarov, Vladimir Putin’s Russian officials had a vendetta against him due to him standing up against corruption within the Russian government. He had joined Right Cause, an opposition party and become friends with Boris Nemtsov, the co-founder of the party who was assassinated in 2015. Torubarov claims that Russia turned on him in response to his involvement with the party. He goes on to state that his businesses were then stolen by a cartel, the cartel supposedly contained a senior officer of the Federal Security Service.

He was accused of fraud and blackmail, crimes which Torubarov and his top extradition lawyer deny. He had an assassination on his life, spent two years in prison and has spent a number of years apart from both wife and children.