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Haynes v Court of Magistrates, Malta

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After five years of legal wrangling, a man faces the prospect of 30 years in a Maltese prison. Tristan Haynes, 40, of Bedford, was due to be sent back to Malta in July 2007 and would have gone straight to prison after jumping bail and fleeing the country. High Court judges ruled that Mr Haynes was not to be extradited due to concerns over the European Arrest Warrant issued by the Maltese authorities. However, on Monday Westminster Magistrates' Court reversed that decision and ordered his extradition. Mr Haynes legal team immediately lodged an appeal which is likely to be heard in February and he has been released on bail. The hearing came around after Mr Haynes was involved in a skirmish in May 2003 when his car was hit by another vehicle in Bahar ic-Caghaq. Mr Haynes said that he was then attacked by two men, one of whom allegedly tried to hit him with a rock. Another man, who suffers from severe epilepsy, fell to the ground and a woman was also involved. Mr Haynes was arrested and thrown into prison for three months. Over the next two-and-a-half years, Mr Haynes appeared before Maltese magistrates on 22 occasions to face trial for GBH but the case has never finished. Maltese magistrates set his bail at £35,000, an amount which stunned the family as a man charged with attempted murder was bailed for just £5,000. Mr Haynes said he received a death threat from one of the 'victims' and decided to flee the Mediterranean island. He contacted the British Embassy where staff told him they couldn't help directly but if he made it to a different country then an emergency passport would be arranged. Mr Haynes left the island aboard a yacht to Sicily and then made his way to Paris by train. There he was given a passport and was able to return to the UK with his wife Ramona, 32, and daughter Ricarda, four. Following the decision Mr Haynes said: "There is something very wrong about this. We have evidence that the Maltese magistrates made mistakes and they have altered the charge sheet and the dates. We will continue to fight the decision. "It is a load of rubbish and nothing has gone in our favour but we have been in this position before and we will win."

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