The applicant, a Russian national of Armenian origin, faced extradition from the Armenian authorities to Russia where criminal proceedings for attempted bribe-taking were pending against him. The applicant unsuccessfully challenged the extradition decision which became final on 30 November 2017. On that date the Court granted his request for an interim measure under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court and, after considering the parties’ submissions on the issue, on 6 February 2018, decided to maintain the measure. Relying on Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention, the applicant claimed that his medical condition did not render him fit for being transferred either by air or land.
The core issue in the present case was whether the transfer for the purpose of extradition of the applicant, who was seriously ill, might, in itself, have resulted in a real risk of his being subjected to treatment contrary to Article 3. Indeed, the transfer of an individual whose state of health was particularly poor might, in itself, result in such a risk. However, the assessment of the transfer’s impact required a case-by-case assessment of the individual’s medical condition as well as the specific medical risks relied upon and substantiated by specific medical evidence, in the light of the conditions of that particular transfer. This assessment had to be made in relation to the person’s medical condition at a particular point in time, considering that the specific risks substantiated at a certain moment could, depending on whether they were of a temporary or permanent nature, be eliminated with the passage of time in view of developments in that person’s state of health.
The Court concluded that there would be a violation of Article 3 of the Convention if the applicant was extradited to Russia without the Armenian authorities having assessed the risk faced by him during his transfer in view of the information as to his state of health.
Conclusion: violation in event of extradition without assessment of risk to health (unanimously).