Football fan Garry Mann to be extradited tomorrow
Tuesday 11 May 2010
England football fan Garry Mann will be extradited to Portugal tomorrow to serve a two-year jail sentence.
The former Kent firefighter, 52, will travel from Heathrow to Lisbon and then be transferred to an as yet undisclosed prison.
He was convicted over a riot during the Euro 2004 tournament but says he never received a fair trial.
Mr Mann's lawyers failed in their last-ditch attempt to secure a judicial review at the High Court last week.
Mr Mann said he has been caught up in extradition laws intended for terrorists and warned others will follow him.
He said: "I have been let down by the politicians that agreed to the UK's rigid extradition laws and the European arrest warrant and by the judges who no longer seem willing to stand up for justice.
"This was supposed to have been for terrorists implemented after the 9/11 attack but, for some reason, I have been caught in its net.
"I am not the first victim of this system and, until it's reformed, I won't be the last."
Jago Russell, of Fair Trials International, said Mr Mann's trial was a "travesty of justice" and the decision to extradite him an "outrage".
He said: "Politicians in the UK and Europe must now wake up to the injustice being caused under Europe's fast track extradition system and reform it before countless others suffer the same fate as Garry."
Fair Trials International said Mr Mann is booked on to an Air Portugal flight departing from Heathrow's Terminal One at 4.20pm.
Mann, a father of six from Faversham, Kent, said he has been the victim of a "witch-hunt" by the Portuguese authorities.
A Birmingham City supporter, he was drinking with friends in a bar in Albufeira when a riot involving football fans began in a nearby street.
Mann was arrested, tried and convicted within 48 hours.
His lawyers said he was only granted five minutes with a lawyer before trial, could not understand the proceedings and did not know what charge he faced until after he was convicted.
Both judges and police officers have expressed concerns that he did not get a fair trial.
The European Court of Human Rights last month rejected his application to halt extradition while he mounts a legal challenge in that court.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) has maintained throughout it has no power to halt extradition and opposed his application.
At the centre of the case is the European Arrest Warrant and the fast-track system for extradition within Europe.
Fair Trials International said it has serious concerns because courts interpret the law as leaving them no option to block an unjust extradition.
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