In 2018, China requested the extradition of a Chinese citizen from Sweden in order to prosecute him for serious financial crimes. The extradition request was supplemented by a detention order and judgments against, and protocols from interrogations with, other persons who were involved in the alleged criminal acts.
The Supreme Court’s task is to deliver a holding to the Government regarding any impediments to extradition to China according to sections 1–10 of the Swedish Extradition Act. The Supreme Court shall also examine whether an extradition to China would be contrary to the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. If the Supreme Court finds that there are impediments to extradition according to the Extradition Act, extradition may not take place. The Supreme Court has now given its opinion. The content of the opinion can be summarized as follows:
The Supreme Court has found that there is probable cause that the person has committed four of the alleged acts, which were committed in 2010 or 2011. As regards the fifth act, which is supposed to have been committed in 2008, there is an impediment against extradition due to a statute of limitations in the Swedish Penal Code.
Having regard to the political activities that the person asserted to have been engaged in and to what is known about China’s approach to activities of the political opposition, the Supreme Court has found that there is a real risk that the person will be subjected to persecution for political reasons in China. This constitutes a general impediment to extradition under section 7 of the Swedish Extradition Act.
The Supreme Court has also found that there is a real risk that the person be sentenced to death, be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Supreme Court also found that there is a risk that he may face a trial that significantly deviates from the demands of a fair trial as laid down in the European Convention for Human Rights. The Supreme Court has also assessed the weight that might be attributed to any assurances from China that the person, if extradited, will not be subjected to treatment in violation of the European Convention. The Supreme Court finds that such assurances cannot be given such weight that extradition can be granted. In this regard it has been taken into account that it would be very difficult to verify that assurances of this kind are complied with. Justice Petter Asp says:
– In short, the Supreme Court makes the assessment that there is a risk that he will be subjected to persecution because of his political activity and that he will be subjected to treatment in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Under these conditions, extradition cannot take place.
On the 19th of June 2019 the Supreme Court decided that the man should no longer be detained within the framework of the extradition procedure.