Extradition Treaty

The government has been left covered in something brown and steaming over the blatant injustice of the extradition treaty, where British citizens can be carted abroad without the courts considering the prima facie evidence. Given that this is one of the rights for all citizens that a civilised criminal justice system can provide, the perversion of the constitution continues apace under our glorious leaders.

"Where allegedly criminal conduct occurs in more than one country, as will often be the case with fraud, it inevitably happens that proceedings are commenced in one country rather than the other," he said. "In this case, investigations had begun in the USA and there had been no complaint by anyone in this country.

"When the Serious Fraud Office came to consider whether to investigate, it decided not to do so because the main evidence was in the USA; the conspiracy took place there; the alleged fraud could not have occurred without the complicity of the Enron executives; the American case was advanced and it was in the overall interests of justice for it to be dealt with by one court

Goldstone, the Attorney General, clearly states that the Serious Fraud office refused to investigate the Natwest Three as yet criminal conduct was alleged to have taken place in the United States. Yet, their refusal to investigate or evaluate the evidence, in these days of expanding intergovernmental cooperation, may have been undertaken to save money, using the savings provided by the faststream cutprice extradition treaty. The SFO cuts down on the number of failures to its name if it can export the accuseds.

A belated concession from the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs to discuss the extradition treaty next week offers faint consolation to the mess that the government faces. Opposition peers are attempting to curb the extradition powers with an amendment to the Police and Criminal Justice Act removing the United States from fast-track extradition. Let us hope that the anti-American sentiments of the Labour rebels allow them to ally with the Opposition and break this. MSNBC understates the mess:

Still, a failure by the Senate to ratify the 2003 treaty would create a political public relations problem for the British government.

That mess is already here and political fixes will not end this debacle as public expectations of justice collide with the fast-track extradition allowed under this treaty and the European Union Arrest Warrant.

If any action undertaken on British soil does not break British law, there is no grounds to extradite one of our citizens on extraterritorial grounds. Slippery slopes lead to bad cases.