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‘Chance encounter’ results in Polish extradition case

‘Chance encounter’ results in Polish extradition case

Monday 09 September 2019

‘Chance encounter’ results in Polish extradition case


A Polish man is one step closer to being extradited back to his native country to face almost four years behind bars after a chance encounter with a Jersey Police Officer uncovered that he was ‘wanted’ across Europe.

Adam Kapcia (33) was served with a request from the Republic of Poland demanding he return there to serve three years and ten months in prison for a series of offences committed between 2008 and 2011.

Mr Kapcia did not, however, consent to this request from Poland and therefore he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court last week for an extradition hearing to assess whether there were any grounds to refuse the request.

In this case, Magistrate Bridget Shaw ruled that there was no legal or humanitarian reason why Mr Kapcia should not comply with the order and sent the case to the Attorney General who will be asked to sign off on whether the man should be forced to leave.

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Pictured: The case will be sent to the Attorney General Robert Macrae for final sign-off.

Mr Kapcia’s is one of many in a recent spate of extradition requests from the Republic of Poland who appear to be cracking down on convicts who have left the country without serving their full sentences.

Amongst the recent cases was that of Mateusz Pabian – a “loving” husband and father-of-three – who was forced to leave his family behind in Jersey for minor offences committed when he was a teenager. 

Another request, concerning groom-to-be Dariusz Burdynski, saw his lawyer Advocate Jeremy Garrood fight the case all the way up to the Royal Court – in vain.

But, in Mr Kapcia's instance, the extradition request came as the result of a chance encounter, Express understands, in which the Polish national was stopped by a Jersey Police Officer for an unrelated reason. A check then revealed that there was a European warrant out for his arrest as the Polish authorities thought that he was in Germany. His being found in Jersey then gave rise to the extradition request being issued.

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Pictured: Adam Kapcia is one step closer to being returned to his native Poland.

During Friday's extradition hearing, Legal Adviser Simon Crowder – appearing on behalf of the Republic of Poland – told the Magistrate that the 33-year-old was arrested in the island on 19 July.

Mr Crowder explained that, in order to consent to the request, the Magistrate need to be satisfied of the following: 

  • that the person before the Court is indeed the subject of the extradition request;
  • that the offences qualify as ‘extradition offences’ under the law (they are punishable in Jersey by between four and twelve months’ imprisonment);
  • that complying with the request wouldn’t give rise to any human rights violations.

The extradition request relates to charges against Mr Kapcia for which he was convicted, including driving whilst disqualified, attempted larceny and several counts of larceny.

All of these counts, the Magistrate decided, fell into the criteria of offences for which a person can be extradited.

It was however found that another of the original charges – which related to an incident where Mr Kapcia took someone else’s identity card and driving licence and disposed of it – did not classify as an extradition offence. 

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Pictured: The hearing took place in the Magistrate's Court.

Advocate Luke Sette, representing Mr Kapcia, also raised a “question” that his client may not have been present at any of the original hearings where he was either convicted or sentenced for these crimes in Poland. 

This is because the only positive evidence that he was there was on the European warrant for his arrest which made reference to the Court documents, but these did not state whether or not the defendant was present.

Magistrate Bridget Shaw ultimately found that she was satisfied of everything Mr Crowder outlined during the hearing.

Regarding any potential human rights violations, the Magistrate acknowledged that Mr Kapcia “might well have employment and social connections” in Jersey, but she continued: “Jersey has an international obligation to uphold judicial process in the states to which it has the power to extradite and that obligation will not be outweighed except in the most compelling cases.

“Nothing has been put forward to me to suggest that extradition to Poland would disproportionately affect your human rights.” 

Having said this, with the exception of the charge relating to the identification cards, the Magistrate agreed that there were no grounds for Mr Kapcia to evade extradition and sent the case to the Attorney General, who will make the final decision.

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