Case Studies

Deborah Dark: Detained for a 20 year old conviction


Deborah Dark was arrested and detained, first at gunpoint in Turkey, then in Spain and then in the UK to serve a prison sentence for a twenty-year old conviction.

In 1989, Deborah was found not guilty of drug related offences in a French Court. Unbeknownst to Deborah and following her return to the UK, the prosecutor appealed the verdict in her absence and she was found guilty by an Appeal Court. She was never summoned to appear to court, nor was she informed of the conviction.

Although courts in both the UK and Spain ruled that it would be unjust to extradite her, Deborah remained subject to the European Arrest Warrant in virtually all other EU member states. Deborah was in effect trapped within the UK and unable to visit her family in Spain for over 3 years. It was only in May 2010, after Fair Trials helped build public and political support for Deborah’s case that France finally agreed to remove the Arrest Warrant.

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