Philip Havers QC and Adam Wagner are acting for Jetmir Bucpapa, a 35-year-old Albanian, who was jailed in 2008 for his role in a £53 million armed raid at a Securitas depot in February 2006. He was convicted on kidnap, robbery and firearms charges in 2008.
Mr Bucpapa has asked to be returned to Albania to serve the rest of his sentence there where his family live, under the terms of a prisoner transfer agreement which the UK and Albania signed in 2013.
The Justice Secretary denied Mr Bucpapa’s request in 2016 on the grounds that he may have the opportunity to be released three years and nine months earlier than he would have been released in the UK. Of the 18 requests under the agreement so far, Bucpapa’s is the only one which has been refused.
Mr Bucpapa’s case is that the refusal is unlawful because it is irrational and unfair. It is irrational because key information was not put to or considered by the minister: that under the terms of the transfer agreement it would have been impossible for the Albanian court to impose any other sentence.
Further, it is unfair to single Mr Bucpapa out when in four other cases involving the most serious of crimes, including pre-meditated murder and rape, defendants have been transferred back to Albania despite a risk of them being released many years earlier than they could have been in the UK. For example, Arben Lleshi, who was convicted of murder and perverting the course of justice, was returned to Albania despite a potential eight-year reduction in his sentence.
Philip Havers QC and Adam Wagner are instructed by David McCorkle of Duncan Lewis solicitors. Judgment will be given at a later date.