Press Relase by Barrister Slowgrove

On 16 November 2006 the High Court of Australia refused an application by the Commonwealth of Australia to dismiss the habeas corpus application of Dragan Vasiljkovic. The application challenges the legality of the imprisonment of Captain Dragan under the Extradition Act. The Court accepted the submissions of Dragan’s lawyers that the application should not be dismissed but be remitted to the Federal Court for the outstanding issues to be resolved.

This is significant progress for Captain Dragan and means that Dragan’s case is not confined to the extradition proceedings brought by the Republic of Croatia to gain his release.

Meanwhile, the extradition proceedings to determine whether Dragan is eligible for extradition to Croatia were heard before a magistrate over seven days from 6 December to 22 December 2006 and are reserved.

Should Dragan be held by the magistrate to be eligible for extradition he has a right of review of that decision to the Federal Court on different grounds than his application for habeas corpus. The review can then be joined to the other proceedings and Dragan’s case consolidated for future determination by the Federal Court or by the High Court on appeal.

If the magistrate finds that Captain Dragan is ineligible for surrender, the Republic of Croatia can seek the same review to the Federal Court but those proceedings would be subject to the outcome of Dragan’s habeas corpus application.

Brad Slowgrove, barrister at law for

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