Dorset Man To Face Hungarian Court

A businessman from Dorset who spent four months without charge in a notorious Hungarian jail will appear in court in Budapest on Wednesday.

Michael Turner, who was extradited under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) in 2009 and spent weeks living in appalling conditions, faces fraud charges following the collapse of his failed timeshare company.

Mr Turner is charged alongside his former business partner Jason McGoldrick, 39, from Plymouth, Devon.

Their Budapest-based company collapsed in 2005 and Hungarian prosecutors used EAWs to detain them, alleging the company's creditors were the victims of fraud.

Mr Turner, 30, has told how he was led through a busy airport in handcuffs on a dog-style lead when he was first extradited on November 2 2009.

The businessman, from Corfe Castle, was imprisoned for four months at the Budapest Penitentiary Institute, where he was kept in his cell for 23 hours a day.

Unable to speak the language, and with no warm clothes, he was only allowed on to a caged roof terrace in temperatures of -20C for an hour a day and was only allowed one shower a week, he said.

He was released, with no explanation, on February 26 2010 - having only been interviewed once by police - and returned to Britain.

He later hit out at the British extradition system and said judges should be given more power to test the evidence in cases before individuals are extradited under the EAW.

Mr Turner and Mr McGoldrick are expected to appear in court for a day-long procedural hearing, ahead of a trial which is due to start in April. Both men deny wrongdoing.

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