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UK Extradition In The Spotlight

As President Obama meets the Camerons we take an overview of extradition in the UK.

Market Press Release March 22, 2012 1:26 pm
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David Cameron meets President Obama a to discuss diplomatic relations over Syria a day after the British courts granted a request by the united states government for the extradition of 23 year old student to be prosecuted by the federal courts for copyright infringement.
Will Mr Cameron use his diplomatic authority on behalf of one of his subjects to make a plea for intervention at the highest level?

Despite it being fresh news, and the level of concern being expressed across the UK, it is not certain whether it is on Agenda for this summit, and having taken 63 year old Christopher Tappin, and still pursuing Gary McKinnon, the British Government remain content to allow the US authorities to continue to flex their muscle in their use of this unbalanced "treaty"

"Treaty" in inverted comment because such a word usually suggest a mutually beneficial agreement, in the case, the British Government have signed up to an arrangement where the USA can request the return and detention under an international arrest warrant, any person sought for an offence by the Federal authorities. They do not need to persuade the British courts or authorities that there is a case against the requested person, merely that they are wanted.

Not only is the notion that a person can be detained and taken to the USA (and EU signatory states) without knowing the case against them, But the British Government signed up to this without seeking a similar provision in the opposite direction. Thus fugitives in the USA sought by this country are entitled to challenge the evidence against them before being extradited here.

Richard O'Dwyer, upon arrival in USA will spend many months awaiting trial before being brought before the court. In the event of an acquittal, if he is able to challenge the evidence against him, he will have experienced a trauma that no 23 year old with a career ahead ought to go through and will have lost the progress in his education.

Mr O'Dwyer's mother Julia, from Cheltenham, said: 'The US is coming for the young [Richard], the old [Chris Tappin] and the ill [Gary McKinnon] and our government is paving the way.
'By rights, it should make for an interesting conversation between the Obamas and Camerons aboard Air Force One - but I'm not holding my breath.
'If Richard appears to have committed a crime in this country - then try him in this country.

The Uk have no similar mutual agreements with other EU states , any non EU state must show that there is a case against the "wanted person" before obtaining their extradition, only the USA are exception from this. There must come a time when the UK Government considers the arguments, and acknowledges the unfairness of such a treaty.
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