Rob Marris MP, the Chair of the APPG for British Sikhs has written to the Europe Minister regarding Paramjeet Singh.
Dear Minister of State,
Paramjit Singh Saini of 41 Bowden Rd, Smethwick
Detained in Portugal
On 11 January I was present when you kindly met with several concerned MPs to discuss the state of this case. As I understood it, you stated that the process in Portugal is in 3 stages:
1.Is the application by country X is valid?
That decision is made by the judicial authorities.
If the answer to that be “Yes”, then they proceed to the second stage
2.Is there a reason not to extradite the individual to country X?
That decision is made by the politicians.
If the answer to that be “No”, then they proceed to the third stage.
3.Has country X made out a strong case for someone to be extradited from Portugal to country X?
That decision is made by the judges.
If the answer to that be “Yes”, then they extradite.
OR: If the answer to that be “No”, then they release the individual.
You said that this case was then still at Stage 1.
You will be aware that on Monday 26 January the court referred this matter to the Attorney General of Portugal. That is, this case is now in Stage 2; the “political stage” as it were.
It appears that the government of India is trying to use a “back door” route to seek Mr Saini’s return to their jurisdiction. In a situation such as this, the individual UK resident should be returned from the other EU country (Portugal) back to UK, and then the foreign government (India) should make its case by itself applying to the English courts for extradition.
Presumably HM Government granted asylum because it was accepted that Mr Saini has a well-founded fear of persecution were he to return to India; and therefore HMG would not itself accede to an extradition request from the government of India. Thus the Stage 2 test has been met, in that there is a strong reason not to extradite this individual to India, a country where the UK has decided that he might well face persecution
Therefore I should be grateful if HMG could now formally intervene and urge the political authorities in Portugal, to arrange Mr Saini’s early return to UK.
I should be grateful if you, or one of your colleagues, could write to me either to confirm that this is being done, or to explain why it is not being.
cc. John Spellar MP