On September 21, 2020, a meeting was held at the District Court in Warsaw on the implementation by Poland of the European Arrest Warrant issued by the authorities of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for Ekaterina and Conrad den Hertog, parents of the autistic young boy Martin, whose history has recently been lived throughout Poland and the world media. Martin was taken away from his family home on charges of alleged negligence and as a result of denunciation by his neighbours. He stayed in a special centre a few dozen kilometres from his previous residence for 25 months. Ekaterina ora and Conrad den Hertog were unable to see and contact their son at all for the first 13 months. They also did not know where the child was staying. A boy without parents began to retreat in his development. Many times he tried to run away from the centre and engaged in auto-aggressive behaviour. Finally, in June 2020, the parents decided to run away with their son to Poland. Here they applied for asylum.
The District Court in Warsaw made an extremely important decision on 21 September this year: it did not agree to hand over the State of den Hertog to the Dutch side for criminal proceedings against them. Thus, the Polish jurisdiction did not recognize the European Arrest Warrant issued by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The court questioned the independence of the Dutch courts and concluded that the rights and freedoms of Martin and his parents had been grossly violated in the present case and that the handing over of the Dutch side would have entailed a further violation of their fundamental rights and freedoms. He also stated that, in the light of the opinion of many experts, there was no doubt that Martin’s welfare was only being served in the family home.
This undoubted success would not have been possible without the involvement of the attorneys of Mr. and Mrs. Den Hertog – attorney Bartosz Lewandowski, PhD and legal counsellor Babken Khanzadyan from the law firm Khanzadyan Lewandowski & Partners.
The decision of the District Court in Warsaw is very edifying. It is an opportunity for den Hertog to live a new, peaceful life. It also draws attention to an extremely important problem, which is the violation of family rights in civilized countries of so-called Western Europe.