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Powers of search and seizure

Peter Lownds reports on a recent House of Lords judgment on police powers of search and seizure in extradition cases

14 June 2002

In R (Rottman) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2002] UKHL 20; The Times, 21 May 2002, the House of Lords considered the appeal of the Commissioner of Police against a Divisional Court decision on the powers of search and seizure. The question certified by the Divisional Court was: “At common law, does a police officer executing a warrant of arrest issued pursuant to s 8 of the Extradition Act 1989 have power to search for and seize any goods or documents which he reasonably believes to be material evidence in relation to the extradition crime in respect of which the warrant was issued?” Background The respondent, Mr Rottman, was a German businessman. A German court issued a warrant for his arrest on 27 December 1996. The warrant alleged he had committed fraud in Germany. On 13 September 2000 the Metropolitan Police received a request from the German authorities, via Interpol, for Rottman’s extradition to Germany. His precise whereabouts within En...

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