June 28, 2018 / 8:50 AM / 9 months ago

Top EU court adviser: up to Irish court if Poland can still guarantee fair trial

FILE PHOTO: Polish and European Union flags are seen during a protest against judicial reforms in Warsaw, Poland, November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - It is up to the Irish court to decide if Poland’s judiciary, overhauled by the nationalist ruling party, can still guarantee a fair trial to a Pole wanted back home under a European arrest warrant, an advisor to the European Union’s top court said.

The Advocate General of the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued an opinion on Thursday in a case brought in by an Irish judge, who was to rule whether to extradite to Poland the Polish national, who is wanted for drug trafficking.

The man does not want to be extradited, arguing that because of the recent changes to the Polish justice system, he would be at real risk of not receiving a fair trial in Poland.

The Advocate General said that if the Irish court were to decide that “there is a real risk of flagrant denial of justice on account of deficiencies in the system of justice” in Poland and at the same time that the wanted person would be affected by it, the Irish court could postpone the extradition.

The opinion of the Advocate General is often, but not always followed by the court.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski

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