When there is a reason for refusing to execute the European arrest warrant, the surrender of the requested person is refused. That’s all. This is what our law provides, in article 695-23 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a law created to apply European law, namely framework decision n ° 2002/584 of 13 June 2002. So why not l ‘apply, rather than attempting yet another diversion in the home stretch?
Indeed, in all consistency, we seemed to reach the goal. Following in the footsteps of the advisor to the Court of Cassation, the Advocate General admitted that there could be no execution of the European arrest warrant targeting Vincenzo Vecchi for the conviction of Genoa under an equivalent qualification of “organized gang robbery “And that it was not for the executing State, here France, to decide that the offense of” devastation and pillage “entered into the thirty-two cases of automatic dismissal. The Advocate General acknowledged that France could not take the place of Italy in deciding on this qualification, although the latter, issuing State of the European arrest warrant, had not indicated it and had not not ticked the corresponding box on the European arrest warrant form. It is a new step taken, therefore, in the long-distance judicial race. This is a fine disavowal of the lame legal argument of the Attorney General of Angers.
Another new obstacle crossed: the recognition by the same Advocate General at the Court of Cassation that the offense of “devastation and pillage” has no equivalent, at least for one of the seven facts required, where the Court of Appeal d’Angers uses two, because there is no passive complicity in French law. It follows that, since the crime of “devastation and plunder” is not recognized as being an offense in our law for at least one fact, this implies that there is no longer any proportionality of the penalty. as required by European law in article 49-3 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Having reached this point of good rhetoric which was to lead him to conclude that the European arrest warrant could not be executed and that Vincenzo Vecchi should not be handed over to Italy, the Advocate General rears up at the last obstacle and misses the finish line by proposing to refer the case to the European Court of Justice for it to indicate a way of carrying out a reduction, a conversion of the sentence or a new appeal. However, there is no recourse possible against this penalty. It is final for having been pronounced by the Italian Court of Cassation. No reduction, no conversion or no adjustment of the sentence was proposed by Italy during the additional information ordered by the Rennes Court of Appeal. And for good reason, neither France, nor Italy, nor the European Court of Justice can modify a sentence.
The road to revision does not exist, why stop along the way and not go to the end of the reasoning? It suffices to apply French internal law, which transcribed the European framework decision of June 13, 2002. Article 695-23 of the Code of Criminal Procedure indicates that “the execution of a European arrest warrant is also refused if the act that is the subject of the said arrest warrant does not constitute an offense under French law ”. The European Court of Justice can say neither more nor better than our law.
Eighteen months in prison and ten years in exile, that is the price for having demonstrated on July 20, 2001 in Genoa. However, Vincenzo Vecchi is being forced into the prospect of months or even years of additional proceedings, when we all know that the European Court of Justice will be in the same impasse as the Court of Cassation. Why ? We do not want to think that it is a question of gaining time, even if it means leaving Vecchi in a suspended time which prevents him from considering any future. French law makes it possible to put an end to this long-distance race, it suffices to apply it. And that will be justice for Vincenzo Vecchi.