Saturday, October 27, 2007

Extradition for Pole who claims rape

A FUGITIVE who claims he was raped in prison because of his Romany roots is to be extradited to his homeland.

Forest Gate resident Jan Majewski, 42 - jailed for two-and-a-half years in Poland for two thefts and a burglary - must serve the rest of his sentence after allegedly breaching his licence.

The father-of-one, who came to the UK in August 2006, told City of Westminster Magistrates' Court he fled amid racist persecution both inside and outside Polish jail.

District Judge Caroline Tubbs ordered his extradition but stressed that authorities in Poland, which has signed the European Convention on Human Rights, must ensure he is not ill-treated.

Condemning his former country as "corrupt" he claimed he was raped by members of an organised criminal fraternity while behind bars. He said he was too scared to report it at the time but as soon as he was freed he reported to local police.

Majewski told the court through an interpreter: "I don't want to avoid my sentence, I just don't want to go through the same suffering as before.

"I've been in the UK for such a long time and this warrant has only just been issued.

"Poland is a country of corruption. I am Romany and a lot of Romany have left Poland because they are oppressed.

"My car was stolen from outside my house. I have my company here. I have settled down and I have my family here."

Majewski was jailed in February 2003. His early release came in 2005 but was revoked in May 2006.

Police arrested him near his home in Woodgrange Road on September 10 after he was seen acting suspiciously.

A European arrest warrant was discovered during their enquiries.

Judge Tubbs said that, in order to be discharged, he would have to show that Poland had an ongoing record of human rights abuses or failure to protect vulnerable groups in prison.

She said: "You have given evidence that when you were serving your prison sentence you were ill-treated by inmates at the prison and that you didn't report that treatment to the prison authorities at the time.

"On that basis this court would be unable to find that Poland is unable or unwilling as a state to abide by its convention responsibilities.

"Poland has signed the convention and it is required to ensure that you are not ill-treated.

"There is nothing that has been put before me that would amount to a strong case that your treatment would amount to a gross violation of the relevant right.

"I find that your extradition isn't incompatible with your convention rights, but I have asked the lawyer who represents Poland to convey to Polish authorities that I am making an order for your extradition on the basis that they will abide by their convention