BCL’s Michael Drury and John Binns discuss with Euronews the cases brought against Zamira Hajiyeva, whose cases were widely reported on for details such as a £16 million spending spree at Harrods and the ownership of a house worth £11 million in Knightsbridge.
Here’s an extract from the article:
“How does the English judicial system permit, on the one hand, an English so-called ‘McMafia’ order – an Unexplained Wealth Order (‘UWO’) introduced under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 – to be made against Azerbaijani national, Zamira Hajiyeva, forcing her to reveal her wealth and how it was obtained, yet, on the other hand, deny Azerbaijan’s request for her extradition. The Chief Magistrate presiding over her case found that: “The combination of a judiciary which is not independent of the executive, lawyers who are punished if they take on cases of interest to the state, the approach of the court and the authorities to Mrs Hajiyeva’s husband’s trial, all lead me to conclude that there is a real risk that Mrs Hajiyeva, whose case is high-profile and sensitive and not a ‘normal’ criminal case, will suffer a flagrant denial of justice”. She ruled that the extradition was incompatible with Article 6 fair trial rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Is this purely English juridical elitism? Or is there something else at play? Both cases are being appealed by Mrs Hajiyeva in respect of the UWO – expected to be heard before the end of 2019 – and by the Government of Azerbaijan against the refusal to order extradition. The final word from the English Courts is yet to be uttered.”
This article was originally published by Euronews on 04/10/2019. You can read the full article on their site.