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Costa had ‘ample power’ to end Marrache parole case, Lord Pannick says

Lord Pannick, QC, one of the UK’s leading barristers, appeared for Justice Minister Neil Costa before the Court of Appeal yesterday, in a case stemming from a decision to release convicted fraudster Isaac Marrache from prison on parole.
Lawyers for Mr Costa filed the appeal after Puisne Judge Adrian Jack ruled last February that the minister had “no power” to end court proceedings he had initiated challenging the Parole Board’s decision to release Marrache.
Marrache had served a third of his jail term when his parole application was approved by the Parole Board, in line with Gibraltar law.
Mr Costa had been uncomfortable with the decision after hearing Marrache planned to travel to New York and work in the financial sector upon release.
He asked the Supreme Court to review the decision, only to later withdraw the application on receiving new documentation about the case.
But the Mr Justice Jack ruled that the minister, having filed the case in court, could not then discontinue it, adding that to do so could potentially open the door to future interference in decisions that should rightly be the preserve of the Supreme Court or the Parole Board.
It is this decision that is at the heart of the appeal that was heard yesterday.

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