Understanding the dangers of the European Arrest Warrant—Trevor Kitchen

Do police and prosecutors, including in Britain, have a prior loyalty to their own people, or to their own supranational fraternity?

Since UK Column last interviewed Trevor Kitchen, he continues to live in Portugal, which has judicially decided not to extradite him to Zürich for his whistleblowing on Swiss banking corruption. Should he enter any other country within the Schengen zone, he is liable for extradition to Switzerland, which is one of the four countries nominally outside the European Union that form part of that movement-of-people bloc through an association agreement. He has now been in Portuguese limbo for two years, with Swiss threats used, in his description, as a primitive background measure to oppress and subdue his critical thoughts. He cannot fly directly to Britain because his British passport is being withheld.


What is the EAW?

In this follow-up interview, Trevor focuses on the European Arrest Warrant, which is an undertaking between the governments of countries both inside and outside the EU that they will treat each other's arrest, detention, indictment, evidentiary, criminal-procedural, suspect-interviewing and courtroom standards as equivalent to their own and thus trustworthy by definition—even where there are fundamental differences between the procedural and material criminal law of two member states.

So much trust do the member states undertake to have in each other's probity that they have invented a new term, 'surrender', in lieu of the term 'extradition', to describe the fast-tracked transfer of detainees between themselves (including from the UK to the European Continent). Even Chinese dissidents can tell that this basic claim underpinning the EAW is patent nonsense, with specific reference to comparisons between Britain and Germany, where the Interior Minister has just told the Bundestag that the government intends to reverse the burden of proof in administrative law in order to rid itself of politically undesirable officials much more easily. Trevor Kitchen's Chinese wife calls Swiss hypocrisy and European double standards "worse than the Cultural Revolution".

Trevor Kitchen describes the EAW as a weapon to silence and oppress public speech, opinion and expression; and with justification points out that it is now wielded disproportionately by state prosecutors as the tool of preference, not as the tool of last resort. Public prosecutors are now de facto EU-trained, not member state-trained, largely "robotically" by computer spreadsheet. England and Wales did not even have the cadre of state prosecutors imposed by Napoleon on the Continent until 1986.

Parliamentarians are not interested in following up abuses, despite their express roles in oversight of the other branches of government. Brian Gerrish suggests from long experience that this is a silence born of discomfort at known abuses, and reminds the audience of the detailed research in the late Christopher Story's The European Union Collective: Enemy of its Member States; in the Dutch whistleblower Roelie Post's book on the EU's complicity in the lucrative purloining of children, Romania, For Export Only: The untold story of the Romanian orphans; and the Foreign Office propaganda campaign to obtain a 1975 referendum result to remain in the EEC, as best outlined by veteran document-gatherer Dave Barnby in The EU, A Corporatist Racket: How the European Union was created by global corporatism for global corporatism.

Trevor Kitchen notes that there is an exception to the reflexive issuance of European Arrest Warrants by the new generation of Brussels-computer-trained state prosecutors: the system discourages them from raising an EAW against bankers and lawyers. No such leniency is encouraged with regard to journalists.


Why is Britain involved?

As British Home Secretary, Theresa May specifically lobbied for the United Kingdom to continue participating voluntarily in the EAW after it first opted out of the EU's security and justice domain (2014) and then supposedly left the EU altogether, even though one of the most senior government ministers of the past decade, Dominic Raab, was pointing out in 2014 how many British lives had been ruined through the issuance of EAWs.

This is a prime example of how the state prosecutors and the ministries overseeing police and courts in various countries—all of which are part of the executive branch of government—regard their loyalty to their "colleague" counterparts in other countries as superseding their obligations under their national constitutions. The expedience of legality is overriding the duty of lawfulness.

British, Swiss and even American state prosecutors continue to participate keenly in EUROJUST in The Hague to offer each other favours in the common aim of helping each other meet politically-set prosecutorial targets, as do police detectives at EUROJUST's increasingly criticised police equivalent across the road, EUROPOL.

Treaties signed between the executives of countries are imposed by those executives (including HM Government for the United Kingdom) upon the respective nations' courts and parliaments as a fait accompli, despite express court rulings (Attorney General v. De Keyser's Royal Hotel Ltd. of 1920; R (Miller) v. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union of 2017) that treaties signed under the Executive's royal prerogative cannot alter either the common law or UK statute law.


What is the problem?

Trevor Kitchen systematically explodes, in the course of just over an hour, the nostrum that European countries are equally reliable in their police and court systems. Without habeas corpus, numerous (not all) Continental countries let unsentenced detainees rot in jail for years, particularly those who have made themselves enemies of politicians or financiers. In many Continental countries, prosecutors—that is, officials of the politically-commanded executive branch of government—act as inquisitors (judges) up until the moment of trial; the judicial branch is substantially or entirely uninvolved in rolling over the detention of unconvicted suspects for years.

A particular focus of Trevor's is that almost all Continental countries treat defamation as a criminal offence, so that it is very easy for inconvenient truth-tellers to be disappeared. Notably, a state prosecutor—who in some Continental countries is a political party appointee—can have an enemy of the state detained on a trivial charge, such as a motoring offence, and then stick more serious charges on him in order to keep him in detention for longer and longer. These more serious charges can be invoked to extradite detainees even when both national sets of prosecutors know that the serious charges will then be dropped before the case comes to court. As in the case of Peter Hofschröer in Austria, a favourite technique is the malicious misinterpretation of calmly-written grievance letters as the harassment or menacing of judicial figures.

It is justly claimed by the opponents of the European Arrest Warrant that on the European Continent, detainees are treated as guilty until they manage to prove their innocence to political officials masquerading as court judges. When victims like Trevor Kitchen lodge complaints about being locked up indefinitely on pending charges relating to something that the detainee said or wrote, systems (in his case, the Dutch justice system) will assert that they did nothing wrong in following protocol.


Are the Swiss paragons of fairness?

Trevor's fellow Swiss banking whistleblower, Rudolf Elmer, spent fifteen months in solitary confinement, forbidden to see even his family, before being vindicated by taking his case to Britain. Brian Keller is another of the better-known examples of detainees being treated abominably in Swiss cells. Trevor Kitchen is determined not to become another victim of Swiss detention abuses. Criticism of these specific cases, and more generally of the political, non-judicial nature of state prosecutors, has been forthcoming from the United Nations and repeatedly from the Council of Europe, and even from the EU's own court, but leaves the EU prosecutorial system unmoved.

In the same week in which this interview was released, Beobachter in Switzerland reported (in German) that 92% of criminal sentences in Switzerland are imposed by state prosecutors without the case ever going through a court, as a result of an "efficiency gain" change in the law a decade ago, and that the executive branch of government can by means of such penalty notices impose custodial sentences of up to six months, even for felonies.

The EU now has six large-scale computer systems to control public movement, and the UK continues to be tied into most of these arrangements even for misdemeanours (less weighty crimes), country by country, via mutual legal assistance treaties—rather comparably to how the UK has remained tied in to European military unification through bilateral treaties. That way, HM Government can tell us with a straight face that we are not partnering with the European Union.

Trevor Kitchen hopes to give UK Column another interview focusing on the purposes of mass migration, and pertinently observes that the numbers of people coming directly from much less free societies to Britain has inevitably diluted what the public, politicians and lawyers understand to be the British standards of liberty. He closes this interview with this quotation from his Dutch lawyer:

The public need to be aware that once an EU member state sets its eyes on them, there is absolustely no legal protection whatsoever. The public are not aware of the risks involved in travelling within the EU in terms of the lack of protection against EU member states.

EU politicians have given massive powers to prosecution services and law enforcement, allowing them to imprison people indefinitely—sometimes, up to two years—without a trial. Holland has kept people for more than two years on extradition charges.

Malicious arrests do not fall under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the entitlement to a fair trial, so the public cannot even complain about due process.

Politicians are incapable of understanding that once they provide this kind of power to prosecutors and other executive authorities, they themselves might well become a victim at some point. Once they do fall victim, they are shocked at just how far those powers go; how dehumanising the criminal justice system in the EU is; and how much stress it puts on the individual’s shoulders.