Grimsby man Craig Pinnick's extradition to Spain blocked
The extradition of a man wanted in Spain for alleged drug smuggling has been blocked by the High Court.
A judge ruled the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) which led to the arrest of Craig Pinnick, from Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, was legally flawed.
Mr Pinnick is wanted by the authorities in Spain accused of conspiring to import 50kg of cocaine.
Mr Justice Ouseley quashed a previous extradition order and refused lawyers permission to contest his judgement.
If he had been extradited and found guilty Mr Pinnick could have faced a maximum jail sentence of six years.
The deputy chief magistrate at Westminster Magistrates' Court, Emma Arbuthnot, had ordered he be extradited on 1 February this year.
But Mr Justice Ouseley, sitting at the High Court, allowed Mr Pinnick's appeal and said the order must be quashed.
The judge said a Spanish police report was "annexed to the warrant containing relevant information that was necessary to validate the warrant".
But, under European extradition law, an EAW was "contemplated as being a single document rather than a multiplicity of documents".
"Construing the EAW without the police report, it is accepted that it is not a valid EAW, and so... this appeal must succeed," the judge ruled.
The judge refused lawyers acting on behalf of the Spanish judicial authorities permission to appeal against his ruling.
And he said what had occurred was "not a general problem" with European Arrest Warrants.
"As I understand it, it is the first time this problem has arisen," he said.