Sunday, 24 June 2012


  • Tory MP Dominic Raab unearths damning figures
  • More Britons extradited in the last six months than US has sent back in five years
By James Slack

Seven times more British citizens have been sent to the US under the lopsided Extradition Act than there have been Americans sent in the opposite direction.
Home Office figures reveal how the treaty at the centre of the case against Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon is being used by the US authorities far more often than their British counterparts.
Since 2004, 99 people have been extradited from the UK to the US. Yet only 44 have been extradited to the UK. When the figures are broken down by nationality, the picture is even more stark.
Some 35 British nationals have been extradited from the UK to the US. But as few as five US citizens have been extradited from the US to the UK.
Britain has extradited more of its nationals to the United States in the past six months – seven – than the United States has sent the other way in the past five years, according to data unearthed by the Tory MP Dominic Raab.
This is despite the fact the population of the US (311million) is five times greater than that of the UK (62million).
The figures will heighten calls for changes to the Act, which was passed by Labour in 2003 and is currently under review by the Home Secretary.
Critics say it is biased against UK nationals. Britain must provide US authorities with ‘such information as would provide a reasonable basis to believe that the person sought committed the offence for which extradition is requested’.
This is known as the ‘probable cause’ test and means US citizens have the right to a court hearing to examine the evidence against them. However, if the US wants to extradite a UK citizen, the authorities need only to outline the alleged offence, the punishment specified by statute and provide an accurate description of the suspect.
Tory MP Dominic Raab unearthed the alarming figures
Tory MP Dominic Raab unearthed the alarming figures
The most high-profile victim of the Act is Mr McKinnon,  who faces being hauled to the US for crimes committed from his North London bedroom.He hacked into NASA and Pentagon computers while looking for evidence of ‘little green men’ Medical experts say he is likely to take his own life if extradited.
As well as his, there have been a string of other controversial extradition cases.
They include Chris Tappin, a retired golf club president from Kent who was extradited to the US in February over allegations of arms dealing.
Student Richard O’Dwyer, of Chesterfield, is also fighting extradition on copyright infringement charges over a website he ran from the UK.
Last night Mr Raab, who has campaigned for changes to the extradition rules, said: ‘In 2012, we are surrendering our citizens to the US at the fastest rate since the new treaty came into effect, despite woefully inadequate safeguards.
Overall, we have extradited seven UK nationals for every American extradited to Britain. If we don’t reform our blunt extradition regime, we will see more appalling cases.’
Campaigners are also demanding changes to the controversial European Arrest Warrant (EAW), which allows people to be sent to other EU countries over even minor charges.
As with the Extradition Act, the country demanding a British or EU citizen does not have to make a substantial case against them.
The number of EAWs issued to the UK has risen from 1,865 in 2004 to 5,832 in the year ending March 2012. Britain is extraditing 11 times more people than are being sent to the UK by our EU neighbours. The number of British citizens surrendered under an EAW has risen from five in 2004 to 32 in 2011/12.
Mr Raab said: ‘Britain now extradites six times more of our nationals under the European Arrest Warrant than the US treaty. Too many face corrupt police, incompetent courts and appalling prison conditions.
‘The case for reform or withdrawal from this flawed measure is overwhelming.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We have effective, fair and balanced extradition arrangements with the US and other international partners.
‘People who have committed serious offences such as murder, rape, other sex crimes and fraud, have been successfully extradited to the UK and convicted.

The Telegraph Published a similar piece here 
The US Embassy provides a comment of its own to try and explain the disparity in the numbers  

 “While the U.S. does send more extradition requests to the UK than it receives, this difference is largely due to the differences in the size of the respective populations. The number of U.S. requests is not disproportionate.”

The Home Office States 

‘People who have committed serious offences such as murder, rape, other sex crimes and fraud, have been successfully extradited to the UK and convicted.’

 "It should also be noted that our courts have refused to extradite nine people requested by the US since 2004, while US courts have not refused any of our extradition requests."

 This utterly canned statement is churned out at every opportunity to the media and in view of the refusal of the UK to extradite an American paedophile seem a tad disingenuous

Personally I am unable to grasp this rational as an explanation as to why the US which has a population 5 times that of the UK should be seeking greater numbers to Brits to extradite to the US. If the population is five times that of the UK shouldn't it have 5 times the number of criminals? In a highly technology focussed country shouldn't that mean 5 times the number of "cyber" criminals who can commit online crimes without ever leaving the US.
 ‘People who have committed serious offences such as murder, rape, other sex crimes and fraud, have been successfully extradited to the UK and convicted.’
The above (except fraud) are not crimes which can be committed against one country without going there so that response is not relevant to the issue in question i.e the extradition of citizens for crimes committed on home soil.
The home office states that the US has not refused any UK requests, this is obviously due to the fact that since the UK Home Office knows that a US citizen cannot be extradited to the UK for criminal activity conducted on US soil such extraditions are NOT requested by the UK hence the lack of refusals for such cases.
Nowhere is there any reference to the protections given to US citizens in their constitution and these are what is at the root of the imbalance. 

Latest news revealed only in a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office shows that No requests have been made to the US for American committing crimes against the UK while in the US 

Reported here in the Daily Mail

No comments:

Post a Comment