Anda di halaman 1dari 4

STEPHEN POUND MP

H O US E O F C O M M O NS
LO NDO N S W l A O AA

Mr X

11 December 2013

My Ref:

Dear Mr X I must apologise for the delay in responding to you before now, but I have only just received a reply from Mark Harper MP, the Minister for Immigration , in regards to the United States extradition process . As you can see, he is unable to comment on the particulars of your case, as this would not be appropriate at this time . He has however , assured me that your case is currentl y before the District Judge at Westminster Magistrates ' Court where the Judge will examine your case and make a decision on whether you meet the conditions to be extradited to the US. He has also commented on the UK/US extradition treaty itself and although he admits that there are perceived imbalances , the treaty has been looked over and deemed fair. However, he has gone on to say that there are due to be a number of proposed amendments to the treaty which seek reinforce the rights of UK citizens when the US looks to extradite someone. I hope that you have found this information useful and once again, I apologise for the late response. However , should there be anything else I can be of assistance with in the future, then of course please do not hesitate to contact me. With best wishes Yours sincerely,

STEPHEN POUND MP for Ealing North Telephone: 020 7219 1140 Facsimile: 020 7219 5982 Stephen Pound can be e-mailed at: stevepoundmp @parliament.uk Website: www.stevepound.org. uk

Mark Harper MP Minister for Immigration 2 Marsham Street, London SW1 P 4DF www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Home Office

Stephen Pound M.P House of Commons London SW1A OAA CTS Reference:

0 4 DEC 2013

Thank you for your letter of 30 July 2013 to the Home Secretary on behalf of Mr xxxx regarding a request made by the United States for his extradition, and the United Kingdom/United States extradition treaty. I am replying as the Minister responsible for extradition. Please accept my apologies for the unacceptable delay in responding. Mr XXX s case is currently before the District Judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court for an extradition hearing, at which the Judge will decide whether any of the statutory bars to extradition in the Extradition Act 2003 apply in his case. It would not be appropriate for me to comment further on the details of his particular case. I note your comments on the UK/US extradition treaty. The Government believes that the treaty is fair and balanced. The report of the review into the UK's extradition arrangements, led by Sir Scott Baker QC, was published in September 2011. The review considered a number of issues, including whether the US/UK Extradition Treaty was unbalanced. The review concluded that the Treaty did not operate in an unbalanced manner.

In her response to the review, the Home Secretary agreed with that finding. However, the Government accepts that there is a perception of imbalance in the evidence tests used by the UK and the US which has had a detrimental effect on the confidence of both Parliament and the public in our extradition arrangements. Yes: In fact Sir Scott Bakers conclusion that the Treaty was fair, while very convenient for the Home Secretary who had commissioned his report, flew in the face of the conclusions of the Joint Committee of Human Rights (see report published June 2011), Liberty, Fair Trials International, and countless lawyers who practice extradition law. Indeed, thereafter, the Home Affairs Select Committee, which had been conducting its own inquiry into the UKs extradition arrangements, concluded in its report in March 2012 that the Treaty was horribly imbalanced and needed to be renegotiated. In effect, therefore, Sir Scott Baker and the Home Secretary are in a very small minority in their view that the Treaty is balanced, but a minority that amply suits the US embassy in London which has unashamedly put enormous pressure on the Home Secretary to ensure that she leaves in place an arrangement that is so nakedly in favour of the US, at the expense of UK citizens. The Government has therefore introduced a number of amendments to the Extradition Act 2003, which will improve the operation of the UK's extradition procedures and enhance the safeguards for people wanted in respect of extradition . This includes a bar to extradition on forum grounds, if the extradition would not be in the interests of justice, which was inserted into the 2003 Act by way of-the Crime and Courts Act 2013, and is due to be commenced shortly; and the introduction of a provision to allow appeals out of time in exceptional circumstances, which is currently being considered by Parliament as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill. This is a truly shocking and appalling litany of misdirection, misinformation and specious nonsense, as follows: 1. Contrary to the implication above, no change has been made or is in any way contemplated to the source of the imbalance in the evidence tests used by the UK and the US. None of the changes made to the Extradition Act by the Crime & Courts Act or currently being shoveled through Parliament in the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime & Policing Bill touches in any way on the fact that the US is not required to produce even a scintilla of evidence in support of its requests for extradition, whilst the UK must go through an evidential hearing in a US magistrates court if it wishes to obtain the extradition of someone from the US. 2. The forum amendment introduced by the Crime & Courts Act, far from enhancing the safeguards for people wanted in respect of extradition, does exactly the opposite. Under the new provision of s19C Extradition Act (introduced by the Crime & Courts Act), the presentation of a certificate by a UK prosecutor stating that he has reviewed the case and does not wish to prosecute in the UK, for any one of lack of admissible evidence, not in the public interest, or reluctance to reveal sensitive information, requires that the extradition judge must extradite. The prosecutors certificate cannot be contested in the magistrates court, and is only amenable to challenge in the High Court on appeal. In a truly Kafkaesque twist, therefore, if a UK prosecutor has reviewed the case and found that there is no basis for a successful prosecution (for instance because the defendant is demonstrably innocent?), he may assure that the person is extradited to the US (where the statistical chance of a conviction is close to 100% because the defendant will be forced to enter into a plea bargain in order to get home) simply by producing a certificate stipulating as above, without the necessity to produce any facts, evidence or argument supporting his assertions.

3. Unbelievably, it gets even worse, however, because clause 157 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime & Policing Bill removes the automatic right of a defendant to appeal to the High Court a decision by the magistrate to order his extradition. This provision on its own would be bad enough, but when combined with 2 above, it means that the forum provision, far from providing any protections for defendants, actually enables a prosecutor here to ensure extradition in a case where any sensible analysis would scream that the matter should be dealt with in the UK, and for his certificate in practice not to subject to any review by any judicial authority. 4. Ironically, one of the few good provisions contained in the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime & Policing Bill is a proportionality test which would enable a judge to refuse extradition if the case were considered relatively trivial, or where extradition (and automatic incarceration abroad) would be a disproportionate response to the charges alleged. However, this provision only applies to the Part 1 (Eurowarrant) territories, and not to the US or other Part 2 countries, even though the US regularly exercises exorbitant jurisdiction and seeks extradition for matters which are extremely trivial. I hope that this addresses some of your concerns. Funnily enough, no it does not.

Mark Harper MP