Polish murder suspect facing extradition claims right to family life in UK
A Polish man wanted in his homeland over a football-related killing nine years ago is fighting extradition, claiming he has a right to a family life in the UK.
Piotr Kupiec, 28, was arrested in January after an international manhunt led police to find him working at a Subway fast-food restaurant just 500 yards from a police station in Devizes, Wiltshire.
Despite being one of Europe's most wanted men and facing charges in Poland which could see him jailed for up to 25 years, Kupiec believes he should be allowed to stay in the UK because he has a fiancee and has been here for eight years.
But he had duped his partner, Jenny Stickley, 20, into thinking he was called Lucasz Gluch, the alias he has been living under since coming to the country in 2008.
He is wanted over the death of a man following a football match in September 2007 and, according to Interpol, faces charges of causing the death by manslaughter or murder, along with allegations of assault or maltreatment, and theft.
But during a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court he refused to be extradited.
Defending, Anthony Hanratty said Kupiec was arguing that he should be allowed to stay because of his right to a family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, along with the eight years he has spent here.
District Judge Quentin Purdy replied: "He may do, but is it an arguable matter, rather than theoretical, considering the gravity of the allegation?"
Kupiec was due to face a full extradition hearing on Wednesday, but the European Arrest Warrant under which he was detained had to be withdrawn as police had previously arrested another man with the same name, making it invalid.
A new warrant was due to be issued at the London court but a blunder by the Prison Service meant he was not taken there from Wandsworth Prison, and a judge ordered him to be freed.
Kupiec was immediately re-arrested at the prison gates and taken to a police station, eventually being taken to the court on Thursday.
But the new warrant meant the extradition process had to start again.
A full extradition hearing will be held at Westminster Magistrates' Court on April 11, with a review hearing on March 24.