German suspects turn to European court to fight extradition

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Two suspected German extremists will take their case to the European Court of Human Rights to fight extradition by France, their lawyer said Saturday.

German courts suspect Sonja Suder, 78, and Christian Gauger, 69, of having been members of the far-left Revolutionary Cells in the 1970s and carrying out several attacks in German cities by means of explosives or arson.

France's highest administrative court on Friday rejected a bid by the two, who are French residents, not to be extradited to Germany.

An extradition of the two elderly and ailing people would be tantamount to ill-treatment under article three of the European Convention on Human Rights, their lawyer Irene Terrel said.

Suder and Gauger, who fled to France in 1978, are also suspected of taking part in the recruitment of a commando, led by Carlos the Jackal, that took hostages at an OPEC summit in Vienna in 1975.

A Paris court authorised their extradition in February last year but an appeal was rejected the following month.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and the then justice minister agreed to Germany's extradition request in July this year which prompted the pair to turn to the French administrative court.

A first German extradition request in 2001, the year after their arrest in France, had been rejected.

Terrel called the case "unbelievable".

"We have a new convention now, which is being applied retroactively and which turns back to a case already judged," said the lawyer. "In law, this is extremely shocking, a dual violation."

© 2010 AFP

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