District Judge Zani, on 6 February 2020, ordered the extradition to Italy of Zana Rahim and Bakr Hamad. Both have been convicted by the Bolzano Assize Court in absentia, however, as Italian law does not treat these convictions as final, both Requested Persons retained the status of ‘accused’ for the purpose of deciding whether to order their extradition pursuant to the Extradition Act 2003.
The offending alleged against Mr Rahim and Mr Hamas relates to their membership of the terrorist organisation Rawti Shax. Each is sought to return to serve a sentence of 7 years and 6 months’ imprisonment. Both Mr Rahim and Mr Hamas had been properly served with the notification to appear at their trials but chose not to do so, albeit they were at the time at liberty in the UK.
Both Mr Rahim and Mr Hamas challenged their extradition requests on a number of grounds, including alleged deficiencies in the European Arrest Warrants and that the UK is the more appropriate forum for proceedings to take place and their extradition would be an abuse of process. The court was not persuaded by these arguments and stated that it was “entirely satisfied … that there are no bars to the extradition requests” and that the extradition of Mr Rahim and Mr Bakr would be entirely proportionate.