Friday, June 30, 2006

Asymmetrical Extradition

Hat-tip to Beau Bo D'Or

The extradition arrangements between the UK and US are enshrined in a treaty signed by David Blunkett in March 2003 and incorporated into UK law in January 2004. The new treaty was promoted on the basis of the need for 'a streamlined Extradition process to deal with the new global terrorist threat after September 11th'.

"So far so good", you might say. Two problems though - and they are BIG problems:

1. It allows extradition to the US based on mere 'information' and without prima facie case evidence; whereas extradition from the US to the UK requires a full prima facie case to be made

2. As is the case with other 'anti-terrorist' measures, it is being used for cases wholly unconnected with any alleged terrorist threat.

You need only have an open-minded look at the three cases [ Nat West Three, Gary McKinnon & Babar Amad ] currently proceeding under the provision to see its potential for gross injustice; not to mention the massive extension to the reach of the US criminal justice system.

The case of Babar Ahmad is particularly problematical. His name is probably enough to put a lot of people off giving him a fair hearing, so what chance does he have against allegations of terrorist plotting by the US authorities? Nevertheless, his web site deserves at least as much fair minded attention as the others. In light of my own experience in Parliament Square on 15th September 2004, I find the description of his initial arrest eminently believable too.


  1. Anonymous9:42 pm

    Slight typographical error: it is Babar Ahmad, rather than Barbar