Monday, 30 January 2012


Thanks to Ivor Bennett and RT_com for this reporting

The situation now is that the Judge has sent his judgement that Richard should be extradited to the US to Theresa May the Home Secretary. THe home secretary must write to us by no later than 13th March ordering Richard's extradition. We then have 14 days to lodge any appeal to the High Court.
The petition has done brilliantly since the 13th January with now over 18,000 signatures on it. Support from all around the world has been tremendous and we are all very grateful for that and for everyones continued support.

President Obama takes Questions Thanks to the efforts of Mike Mozart at Jeepers Media and all his followers a question about Richard has been posted and voted the top question to be answered by President Obama. Lets see if the President chooses to answer- if he doesn't well that will be another story itself.

TELEGRAPH ON PRESIDENT OBAMA QUESTION In typical Politician response Obama replies to THE top rated question asked of the President.


BBC Coverage 

BBC Newsbeat Video 




Tuesday, 24 January 2012


Independent - Grandfather Facing Extradition to US under Discredited UK Extradition Laws



Please Help by lodging your protest at this despicable outrage See below How to Help Chris 

Occupy Sheffield ShoutOut for Chris 

Chris Tappin is one of those fighting extradition to the US whilst never having left the UK. Chris was a victim of an illegal FBI sting operation see  HERE but still our Judiciary, Home Secretary and Prime Minister favour extradition to the US rather than deal with UK citizens under UK law and are not acting swiftly enough to remedy the flaws in the extradition treaty with the US. The floodgates to the US are open and our government is doing nothing concrete to remedy the rotten extradition act which they promised to amend.
Please do what you can to help Chris urgently- this could be Richard in a few months we need to stop it now!

Please e mail:
Your MP  Find Your MP

If you e mail the people below please title your e mail Extradition National Matter unless they are your own MP . Suggested e mail below to cut and paste or add to.

LATEST!!! Please e mail David Cameron & Nick Clegg urging them to negotiate with the US authorities to grant Chris bail if extradition goes ahead and to get assurance that if imprisoned this will be in an open prison.

David Cameron Here
Nick Clegg Here
Attorney General Dominic Grieve Here
Home Secretary   Here
Keith Vaz Here
Sir Menzies Campbell Here

Can you help ?  You have probably heard of the awful position in which Christopher Tappin,finds himself.  Last week he lost his Appeal at the High Court to prevent his extradition to the US for trying to export batteries to Iran without a licence.  Chris is adamant that he knew nothing about the batteries, save what he had been told by his customer and that he had asked the US exporters to arrange the shipping of the batteries to Amsterdam. Implicit in his instructions was his understanding that they would arrange the necessary export licence.
Chris now faces extradition to El Paso in Texas.  According to a US lawyer who Chris has spoken to, bail may not be granted.  If this is the case Chris will be imprisoned in one of the most notorious and dangerous prisons in the US, full of drug runners, drug dealers and gangland murderers.  (Gary Milgrew of the Nat West Three has written a detailed and horrifying account of his experience in this prison).
He faces being locked in a cell with 80 other prisoners awaiting a trial at which it will be impossible for him to defend himself as the witnesses and experts he has consulted are too frightened to speak on his behalf for fear of being extradited themselves. He may have to wait for a very long time for such a trial under threat of 35 years imprisonment.  His best option may be to plea bargain with the result being that he will be branded a criminal for the rest of his life.  
Our judges are following the Extradition Treaty to the letter of the law REGARDLESS of guilt or innocence.  The Scott-Baker Review gave no thought or showed any concern to the plight of British citizens losing their liberty, their likelihood of a fair trial and most cruel of all, the love and support of their families and close friends.
Chris' lawyers are intending to appeal to the Supreme Court but has been warned that it is very doubtful that they will agree to look at his case.  I fear that the almost inevitable outcome will be his extradition.  How can this happen to a 65 year old retired British businessman with 45 years of experience in the Shipping and Forwarding industry who has never been in trouble before and who was ensnared by a bogus US government company ? This would never happen under UK laws.The case is not sub-judice and I would welcome an urgent and substantive response as soon as possible.
Please help this man and his family.

Saturday, 21 January 2012


                     Just a reminder of what this linking thing is all about

Click on to enlarge

The above letter is a letter from the UK Director of Public Prosecutions in response to a letter from Richard's Solicitor Chris Wong asking whether the Attorney Generals Guidelines  have been followed in the case, whether a UK Prosecution had been considered and the fact that extradition is clearly disproportionate to the alleged offence. 
You will see from the first paragraph marked in the above response that the DPP states that in referring to the aforementioned guidelines these " apply only to the most serious, sensitive or complex cases.This case was not and is not considered to come within that category"

This is why I then ask the question as to why the DPP is using extradition to deal with a non serious matter

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Episode 2- Full of Evidence from Mike Mozart & Major New Development

Many thanks to Mike Mozart for highlighting Richard's case and even more so this illegal and bogus attempt to extradite Richard. Billionaire Alki David has pledged to fund Richard's legal costs in the US! I'm rather speechless and overwhelmed about this news so will write more later I just wanted to get Mike's video out there.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Some of The Media Coverage

Disastrous Day at Westminster Magistrates

I can't write too much about this today as still feeling pretty rubbish about the outcome.Obviously we felt Richard had a 50:50 chance of winning the argument that his conduct was not a crime in the UK. However what we weren't expecting was that the Judge would totally ignore the arguments and appeared not to have even read our statement which would disprove any attempt on behalf of the prosecution to argue that TVShack was different to TVlinks. I could tell what was coming as the Judge read through his ruling which by the way is still full of inaccuracies which have already been highlighted at various earlier hearings. Basically he could not think outside of extradition box and did not have the technical brains to understand the evidence put forward, despite our efforts to simplify with diagrams and a video tutorial. I had to leave the court room abruptly as I could feel a Foam Pie moment coming on!

Here is the Ruling for what its worth

Thursday, 12 January 2012

GUEST POST- What’s the Incentive for Creating a Successful Search Engine in the UK? 10 Years in a US Jail!

23-year old UK student, Richard O’Dwyer, has been issued with a US Extradition Arrest Warrant on copyright infringement charges and is facing up to 10 years in a US prison if the extradition request is granted.  I’ve only summarised the main points of Richard’s case here to help me get my point across but there are some good articles on the web that can explain Richard’s story fully and much more accurately than I can so I strongly urge you to do your own research and read them yourself to find out the full story.  You may want to start by reading his mother Julia’s blog.  And please show your support by signing the e-Petition.

As part of a personal project to improve his web development skills Richard created a website called TVShack.  It acted very much like an advanced Google search and returned the most popular links searched for by users of the site to episodes of TV programmes or movies.  

The site gained in popularity and as the number of users increased he started to receive offers to host pay-per-click ads on his site, mainly from US companies, some of which he accepted.  This slowly started to generate him some revenue, which he then used to subsidise his living costs while studying.  

For reasons of clarity, the site did not host any content to download, pirated or otherwise, it merely acted as a place to find links; it was hosted on a web server based in the UK but it was registered on a .net domain, which requires registration through US Internet domain registration body, Internic; Richard has no links to the US other than one holiday visit when he was very young.

The nightmare started for him in November 2010 when he received a visit from UK police, accompanied by US customs and excise officials, and was arrested on bail pending charges of copyright infringement.  The charges were then dropped by the UK police when he presented himself at the police station for bail early 2011.  However, he was immediately rearrested under the US/UK Extradition treaty 2003 and has since appeared at Westminster Magistrates court. 

At his first hearing to consider the actual offence and in the likelihood of the Judge’s limited understanding of the Internet, and exactly what linking is, a 2-minute video explanation was produced in order to provide a less technical explanation, you can view here. The US presented its confused counter – argument. At this hearing the Judge accepted that in Richard’s case the argument that “linking” is not an offence was a strong one and indeed the US prosecution concurred with this too. The judge has adjourned his final decision until 13 January 2012 so he can consider the finer details further.   The Parliamentary Backbench Committee secured a debate in the House of Commons recently, which has led to a Home Office Select Committee debate where the Committee interviewed David Bermingham, one of the three men extradited and convicted in the US for their involvement in the Enron scandal; the US Ambassador to the UK was also invited but was unable to attend.  Bermingham said the treaty was unfair in that the US constitution forces other governments to hand over evidence as proof of probable cause before agreeing to extradite someone but UK law does not offer the same level of protection to UK citizens facing extradition to other countries.  He also pointed out to the Committee the astronomical defence costs associated with a UK citizen fighting a case in the US, stating the court case can often bankrupt defendants in the process of proving their innocence, without ever recovering the cost even if found not quilty, something former banker Bermingham was fortunate enough not to have to endure but that he admitted would be the likely outcome for most people extradited.

So not long now for Julia O’Dwyer to wait to see if her only son will be whisked away to face pre-trial incarceration in the US to then face the full force of Hollywood and the US law enforcers!  His website has long since been seized by the US ICE, all his computer equipment was confiscated and his finances frozen. The two charges brought against him each face a separate maximum term of 5 years in prison, potentially 10 years for doing what any Internet directory or search engine does!  

There are many grey areas in this case so again for reasons of clarity here’s what I see as the problems.

First we have a young man who may or may not have committed a crime.  There is already a precedent case in the UK to suggest that what Richard did does not in fact constitute copyright infringement in this country.  If he committed a crime whilst in the UK then UK judges using UK laws should decide if he has done so and if so what the appropriate punishment should be.  If it was a prison sentence, he would have to accept the consequences of the judgement but it would be with the continuous support of his friends and family who could visit regularly.

But it isn’t as black and white as that.  In this case we have the absolute abuse of a hastily drafted and implemented treaty between the UK and US that came about shortly after the 9/11 bombings of the twin towers, and which was intended, according to its backers in the Houses of Parliament, to simplify the transfer of suspected terrorists between the two allies.  It has long been argued that this treaty is heavily biased in the favour of the US who no longer tries to hide the fact that they are using it to cast their legal net much wider than suspected terrorists.  The US officials have no obligation to present evidence held against the defendant and there is no provision in the treaty for UK judges to demand to see such evidence before an extradition case is heard; to date no application for extradition to the US has been refused by a UK court.   What is wrong with trusting our own legal system to judge whether someone should be sent elsewhere to stand trial?  Is it so corrupt, so far from US principles that our judgement cannot be trusted?

We need immediate reform of the extradition treaty and you can sign the petition to help to get this situation in the faces of the UK politicians here.   Great efforts are being made to raise awareness but much more is needed to get them to fight the US on this.  Richard is by no means alone in his fight, there are other cases, just as ludicrous, including the case of Babar Ahmed who has been held without charge for over 6 years while his defence demand to see the evidence against him.  There is also the renowned case of Gary McKinnon, the Asperger’s sufferer who took advantage of a security flaw in the Pentagon’s computer network and went looking for UFO files; they probably would never have discovered he had even hacked into the system had he not informed them himself about the security flaw!  He has spent 10 years appealing the decision to extradite him to face what could be up to 130 years in a US jail without any chance of parole before he had served at least 50% of his sentence, this according to Bermingham’s testimony to the Home Office Select Committee. 

This precedent does not bode well for Richard who, without any family/sponsors would be held in detention until his case was heard, without any guarantee of a time frame of when that would have to happen by or the support of family and friends who would not be able to afford to visit him very often.  Material he needs for his defence would have to be requested from the authorities in the UK, costing money his family can ill afford.  He will be transported to an unfamiliar environment, a fish out of water in a UK prison but if the media coverage is anything to go by, and Gary Mulgrew’s account in his recent book, “One Man Gang” is accurate, a US jail would be considerably worse.  This is a flagrant abuse of Richard’s human rights and is hugely disproportionate action given the nature of the alleged crimes.  For goodness sake, he probably earned less in 3 years than Brangelina earn in a lunch break!

I fear greatly that if we allow the treaty to be used as the vehicle to turn over our citizens whenever the US government wants to flex its muscles, the same fate could await over a quarter of our young people who would be directly in the firing line; this is reportedly the largest demographic of Internet users who admit to having “illegally” downloaded or shared a movie or music and every single one of them could face a US prison sentence or end up paying massive financial penalties to US companies.  The current strategy is to make headlines by making examples of those seen to be flouting copyright laws with the hope that this will deter others from breaking the law.  We see this pressure in other well documented alleged cyber crime cases such as the ongoing trial of Bradley Manning, accused of leaking classified information to Wikileaks, resulting in vicious even inflammatory reactions from US politicians and the US government forcing companies to shut off funding streams to the Wikileaks site and call openly on national TV for the assassination of Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange. 

The propaganda machine is in full force in the US with increasingly strong rhetoric from the mainstream media on the likelihood of terrorist attacks being carried out via the Internet, inflating all sorts of fears in the general population.  When you add this to the grossly exaggerated claims over the loss of income and jobs related to digital piracy and copyright infringement it is inevitably going to invoke the response for more government control!   Something of course that they are only too happy to propose!

So, who’s behind the extradition warrant? In Richard’s particular case it’s the US film industry who claim he and other “rogue” pirate sites, have potentially lost them billions in revenue; the figures used in the campaign to fight piracy is an estimated loss of over $26billion a year but a more conservative estimate of half a billion dollars is put forward by opposition as being closer to the real figure.

Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), an organisation who according to their website “represents the recording industry worldwide with some 1400 members in 66 countries and affiliated industry associations in 45 countries”, wants governments worldwide to take advantage of the growing collective voice of discontent of recording artists to the loss of revenue through illegal downloading of songs and movies, to seize control of the Internet.  In Moore’s own words “digital piracy, and the lack of adequate legal tools to fight it, remains the biggest threat to the future of creative industries”.   She cited the potential loss of up to a million jobs in the creative industry before 2015 if piracy isn’t addressed and a potential loss of billions of dollars in revenue.   This may well be the case but they are assuming that everyone who has a pirate movie or CD would have bought it, not the case.  Many argue that by allowing music and movies to circulate freely on the Internet, or offering easy, cheap access to it would benefit the artists by exposing their products to a wider audience than conventional marketing methods can achieve, thereby converting first-time listeners to future fans.

My personal opinion is that restricting information is an outdated business model and it is the long-established businesses fearful of losing their fiercely guarded share of the market, who are stubbornly refusing to believe their time is up; it’s only the big billion dollar businesses that stand to lose, everyone else will gain.  Moore neglects to discuss the monopoly held by industries such as music, film and software and how it stifles innovation within the very industry it is professing to protect.   Once people start to realise that a musician will always create music, an artist will always paint, an actor will always act, an engineer will always build, an entrepreneur will always have a new solution to a problem, and that they will do it solely for the love of what they do, not for money and certainly not for profit, then we will see true innovation. 

Where is the heated discussion about producing more innovative technology to deliver content that is deemed copyrighted, or safer operating platforms that put the user in control of what the software does rather than the software controlling what the user does, such as that advocated by the Freedom Software Foundation.  This type of solution would definitively make the user responsible for any actions undertaken!   Or what about the abolition of the copyright laws altogether, why is this not considered seriously?  We need to move away from draconian patents and copyrights laws and have a full and honest debate about an alternative that gives us more opportunities to use the Internet in the future, not less.  We need to move to a more open sharing policy generally, invent better technology and create new delivery channels, all supported by laws that meet the needs of today’s challenges and allow for greater freedom and competition on the web and encourage innovation.

This time though they may have picked the wrong opponents

I am not alone in my views, in fact two recent bills waiting to be passed by the US Senate and Congress have split the business community in the US right down the middle (see my forthcoming article on SOPA and PIPA, hopefully Jan 2011), with one camp supporting Moore’s view of the need to tighten government control to stop the threat of digital piracy, and the other camp reflecting my own personal view that these pending laws threaten to stifle the free flow of information on the Internet and place the US as the World’s judge and jury on what is copyright and what constitutes an infringement.  So far it looks like common sense may win out and SOPA could well be quashed in the US but it’s still touch, even with Facebook, Google and other major players threatening to “strike” and bring down their own sites in protest!

But what if we hand over a citizen on a platter to the US without them even needing to cite a specific law, even more reason for them to go ahead and cement SOPA in law, with any fear of international kickback to it slightly abated by Britain’s roll over and play dead attitude.  I and many others believe that Richard is being used as a test case for the US to gauge how easily foreign nations such as the UK would be willing to give up its citizens.  If we allow him to become the guinea pig for the US censorship bills we are paving the way for many more cases of our young people facing a very bleak future being US bars and a world where the US decides what we are allowed to see and know, one that is wide open to excessive application or abuse of these laws from future malignant US leaders; their current track record on human rights does not offer much comfort or hope in how anyone deemed suspected of a crime can expect to be treated. 

The request to extradite him for “linking” is an outrageous waste of taxpayers money and a shocking wake up call to exactly what lengths the US are willing to go to in order to assert their authority as the world’s policeman and protect their power monopolies.  The US abuse of an agreement made in good faith when times were tense confirms that any form of control giving the US government broad sweeping powers will be abused again and again, and any precedents set will not be isolated cases. 

If you’re still with me and have managed to get to the end of this epic post, thank you for your patience.  I urge you to get behind Richard’s campaign and sign the epetition to force our government to take this situation more seriously and stand up for the citizens of the UK, tell all your friends, follow Richard’s mother Julia on twitter and retweet her, share links on Facebook, write to your MP, do all you can to raise awareness of the global shift in power happening right under our noses.

I hope that you’ll agree with me when I say that this is not why Tim Berners-Lee gave away his code for free, for everyone in the world to use as he/she sees fit, he fervently opposes SOPA and PIPA, for the very reasons stated in this article.   History has taught us to be cautious and be wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing.   The Internet is not the property of the US government; it belongs to everyone and no one.  We must fight with every ounce of strength to ensure that we do not lose the freedoms that the Internet has given to the peoples of the world. 

Deborah Adshead
12 January 2012 

Many thanks to Deborah for allowing publication of her blog post here, Good Luck with your own blog Deborah x

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Judgement on Friday 13th !!!

Richard's Counsel, Ben Cooper of Doughty Street Chambers, has argued that the TVShack website, simply acted only as a linking website, directing users to other websites on the internet where  films & TV shows were hosted and available for viewing.The website itself did not host any content at all. Ben Cooper has pointed to a number of similar cases previously tried in the UK in which the prosecution has failed, for exactly this reason.

Judge Purdy has all the relevant information and has already himself at an earlier hearing admitted that Ben Cooper's argument was a strong one. The prosecution counsel John Jones also of Doughty Street Chambers also concurred on this occasion to the same effect. We will hear Judge Purdy's decision on 13th January and will trust that he is able to stand by his earlier opinion in order to make his decision and that therefore there is no extradition offence as the conduct is not a criminal offence in the UK.

If for some reason Judge Purdy is unable to come to that conclusion then we shall review the options with our legal team, one of which will be to take the matter to a higher authority.

So fingers crossed for Friday 13th!!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Latest Media Coverage from Another Victim of US Extradition

Todays Daily Mail reports on the experiences of Gary Mulgrew who was extradited as one of the NatWest 3. Before jumping to conclusions about "greedy bankers" it is advisable to first read about the case. There are plenty of press articles and Parliamentary debates as the Labour Government at the time itself tried to stop this extradition.It is also important to remember that the US justice system depends heavily on the Plea bargaining process where most often the accused have to plead guilty to a crime they didn't do in order to get out of jail early or in this case get out of America.

Due to being on licence Gary has only now been able to tell his account of US Prison conditions.

Terrifying Time in US Jail

As Richard's mother I can confirm that the UK Judiciary are fed and choose to believe the lies and inaccuracies about the conditions in US Prisons given by the US Department of Justice and US Government choosing to ignore expert reports and research available on the subject which support Gary Mulgrews testimony and that of others that will no doubt become public. This information is readily available on the internet in case of any doubt.

Friday, 6 January 2012


After a six week wait Judge Purdy will give his Judgement in the afternoon on the 13th - Friday!! We're not superstitious and in any case the 13th may be unlucky for the prosecution -lets hope so!
Our main hope is that Ben Cooper's argument that "linking" is not a crime in the UK and therefore not an extradition offence will have been accepted.

On the run up to Friday  David Bermingham  has been requested to attend the Parliamentary Select Committee on the 10th January. In the light of Sir Scott Baker's failure to show any interest in researching the views and experiences of extraditees Keith Vaz has clearly indicated an interest in gathering further information from victims of this unbalanced Extradition Treaty with the US.

In the meantime I have submitted two requests under Freedom of Information from the home office:

Number 1- Due Date 20th Jan

The number of requests from the US to the UK of extradition  where requests for extradition were withdrawn or charges dropped (please specify which) from Jan 2004- November 2011 by year under the Extradition Act 2003.
  • Nationality of cases i.e British, dual nationality, US
  • Type of crimes involved in these cases
  • Who/which agency/department initiated  withdrawal in these cases.
  • Reason for withdrawal of extradition request in these cases.
  • At what stage in extradition proceedings was withdrawal granted in these cases
Number of  requests from the UK to the US for extradition  where requests were withdrawn or charges dropped (please specify which) from Jan 2004- November 2011 by year under the Extradition Act 2003.

  • Nationality of cases US, British, dual nationality
  • Types of crimes involved in these cases
  • Who/which agency/department initiated  withdrawal in  these cases
  • Reason for withdrawal of extradition request in these cases
  • At what stage in extradition proceedings was withdrawal granted in these cases.
Number 2 -Due Date 30th Jan

       UK TO US Extraditions Requested

  • The total number of requests from the US for extradition of UK citizens from January 2004 up to end of November 2011.
  • The number of these extradition requests which were for alleged offences committed on UK soil without the accused having been present in the US.
  • Total number of these extradition requests granted
  • Total number of these extradition requests of UK citizens refused on Human rights grounds.
  • Total number of these extradition requests of UK citizens being refused for any other reason and the reasons for those refusals.
  • US TO UK Extraditions Requested                                                                                         
  • The total number of requests from the UK for the extradition of US citizens from January 2004  up to the end of November 2011.
  • The number of these extraditions which were for alleged offences committed on US soil without the accused having been present in the UK.
  • Total number of these extradition requests granted.
  • Total number of these extradition requests of US citizens refused on Human Rights grounds
  • Total number of these extradition requests of US citizens being refused for any other reasons and the reasons for those refusals.

Thank you so much to those who have already signed Richard's Petition asking for UK Justice. We need many more signatures so please Sign The Petition & Stop Extradition  This petition is not restricted to UK residents so feel free to sign and pass on.

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Please sign Richard's on line petition in support of a trial in the UK where he was at all times, where he can defend himself in the British legal system.



E.Mail from Richard O'Dwyer supporter in Sheffield

Dear Mr Clegg,
It has come to my attention that a debate on reforming our extradition laws to strengthen the protection of British citizens is to take place on Monday 5 December 2011 in the Main Chamber at 3pm.  As your constituent, I am writing to request that you attend this debate and vote in favour of the motion that calls for a reform of the extradition laws in line with the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Human Rights 
The motion is as follows: “That this House calls upon the Government to reform the UK’s extradition arrangements  as a matter of urgency to strengthen the protection of British citizens: by introducing a Bill in Parliament to enact the safeguards recommended by the Joint Committee on Human Rights in its Fifteenth Report of 2010-12, and by pursuing such amendments to the UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003 and the EU Council Framework Decision 2002 on the European Arrest Warrant as are necessary in order to give effect to such recommendations.”

The UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003 is imbalanced and allows British citizens accused of crimes allegedly committed in the UK to be extradited to the US without the US authorities having to demonstrate a prima facie case and without a UK trial being considered as the correct "Forum". A wide range of people from different backgrounds have found themselves ensnared by the Treaty including corporate bankers, terror suspects, alleged computer hackers and most recently a 23yr old University Student, Richard O'Dwyer on a charge of copyright infringement.
I would like you to speak at the debate and call for any changes in the law to apply to pending cases. It would appear immoral to allow individuals to be extradited under a Treaty which is subsequently agreed by our parliament to be so unfair such that it requires amendment.
I am aware that Sir Scott Baker recently said at a Lawyers debate on extradition that the government if it wishes to do so can  apply any changes made to the extradition arrangements retrospectively.  In other words there is no reason why pending cases should not benefit from any amendments to the Extradition arrangements.

In particular, I would like you to mention the case of Richard O’Dwyer, the 23yr old Sheffield Hallam University student accused of copyright infringement for making a website which provided links to films elsewhere on the internet. His actual website held no infringing content at all.

There are other pending cases of UK citizens being pursued aggressively by the US over “alleged” crimes committed on UK soil. One of those is the case of Babar Ahmad who has been imprisoned here in the UK for over 7 years without charge after first being brutally assaulted by the UK Police. Babar Ahmads supporters recently  submitted a government e petition with over 141,000 signatures calling for a Trial in the UK rather than being extradited to the US. Gary Mckinnon’s case you should be well aware of, again being sought for “crimes” committed on UK soil.Gary has already admitted to Computer Misuse, The case of retired businessman Christopher Tappin again accused of offences occurring on UK soil. Non of the above mentioned are seeking to evade justice they are merely asking that the correct place for any trial be in the UK where they were at all times and where any "alleged offences" took place.

• The JCHR called for the UK’s extradition laws to be amended to prevent the extradition of UK citizens in circumstances where the domestic authorities had decided not to prosecute them.
This is a crucial opportunity for Parliament to fix a law with unintended consequences.
In Richard O’Dwyer’s case the DPP has already stated that “the matter was not and still is not considered to be in the category of serious”. Extradition in this case is totally disproportionate to the “crime” and it is beyond belief that the UK would allow extradition to take place for what has been described as not serious.

I implore you, as my elected voice in parliament, to attend this important debate and vote in favour of changing the extradition laws such that they offer greater protection to British citizens such as Richard, Gary, Chris and Babar. 

Please respond to me with a copy of any correspondence or representations that you make regarding this matter.
Yours sincerely,



Thank you for your email expressing your concerns about the nature of the UK’s extradition arrangements with America. Nick has asked me to respond.
The Liberal Democrats have been vocal in our criticism of the ‘lopsided’ extradition arrangements between Britain and the US. We believe that the treaty puts the citizens of the United Kingdom in a disadvantaged position when compared with citizens of the United States.  That is why the Liberal Democrats proposed amendments to the Extradition Act in 2006 to protect the freedom and fair judicial treatment of British citizens. Sadly the previous Government refused to accept or act on these amendments.

The Treaty is wrong in principle. Extradition is based on reciprocity. For a state to give up one of its citizens to another jurisdiction can be justified only by the confident knowledge that citizens of both states have equal rights.

As you know, Sir Scott Baker (a former Lord Justice of Appeal) recently published a Government commissioned review of the Extradition Act. The review concluded that the Extradition Act was not biased and that there was no need for reform.

You may be pleased to know that Nick has asked Sir Menzies Campbell QC to lead a Liberal Democrat review of the current extradition arrangements. Amongst many issues, the panel will consider the need to introduce a ‘forum bar’ which would give judges more discretion in deciding whether it is in the interests of justice for cases to be tried in the UK, such as the case involving Gary McKinnon.

I trust this is helpful.
Yours sincerely

Barbara Masters

On behalf of:-