Letter to Home Office - November 10th 2010
I would very much like to show my concern over the current extradition laws, especially with respect to the current state of affairs with the US.
Current legislation appears to give a very lopsided difference between the requirements of the UK versus the US in the conditions that are required in order for extradition to take place.
Whilst I realise that this is due to differences between UK and US laws, I would still expect UK citizens to be protected by UK laws at all times.
In abolishing the need for evidence when extraditing to most countries in the world, this has removed the safety net once afforded to UK citizens in that they will always obtain a 'fair trial'.
How is it that the US because of it's Constitution has a provision that any country requesting the extradition of a persons or people must have evidence of the crime committed by the person being extradited? All other European and Commonwealth countries signed up to a similar treaty did so on the understanding that we all played by the same rule book.
For the UK to extradite someone from the US they only need establish ‘probable cause’ of which the US constitution’s fourth amendment has defined as “information sufficient to warrant a prudent person’s belief that the wanted individual had committed a crime”
- Whilst it may be impossible for us to create a law that is compliant with both UK law and the US Constitution, all I ask is that they UK Government should introduce the forum bar with respect to extradition.
- The Home secretary should be given the powers to halt extradition to the US if they feel that their is a lack of evidence. Reasonable cause is not justification enough for people or persons to be extradited to the US.
- The same should be applied to the European Arrest Warrant. The UK Government should protect it's citizens by ensuring that the trial they receive in any Foreign country is at least of equivalent standard to that of which they would expect within the UK. UK citizens have a right to be protected by their UK Government at all times.
- When a crime is mainly committed in the UK, that person should be tried here. It is my personal belief that this provides a simple solution to the problem where the victims of the crime or the scenes of crime are spread around one or more countries. If the crime was committed upon UK soil, it should be tried upon UK soil under UK laws.
- The US-UK treaty is most definitely unbalanced for the reasons I have previously mentioned above.
- Requesting countries must provide sufficient evidence in order to prove an allegation. If such allegations are terrorism related for example, the UK already has systems in place to help protect UK citizens and those should be afforded to foreign countries by applying UK law.
Many thanks for allowing me the opportunity to
express my views on this matter and I look forward to following the outcome of
Lastly, I would like to add that Home Secretary needs to clearly state that Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the USA until this "Review" has been completed any changes passed in to Law by the UK Government.
The family of Gary McKinnon are being subjected to pressures and events tantamount to torture in not knowing the fate that is to be bestowed upon Gary. This must be addressed immediately!