Dear Mr Clegg,
The UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003 is imbalanced and allows British citizens accused of crimes allegedly committed in the UK to be extradited to the US without the US authorities having to demonstrate a prima facie case and without a UK trial being considered as the correct "Forum". A wide range of people from different backgrounds have found themselves ensnared by the Treaty including corporate bankers, terror suspects, alleged computer hackers and most recently a 23yr old University Student, Richard O'Dwyer on a charge of copyright infringement.
I am aware that Sir Scott Baker recently said at a Lawyers debate on extradition that the government if it wishes to do so can apply any changes made to the extradition arrangements retrospectively. In other words there is no reason why pending cases should not benefit from any amendments to the Extradition arrangements.
In particular, I would like you to mention the case of Richard O’Dwyer, the 23yr old Sheffield Hallam University student accused of copyright infringement for making a website which provided links to films elsewhere on the internet. His actual website held no infringing content at all.
There are other pending cases of UK citizens being pursued aggressively by the US over “alleged” crimes committed on UK soil. One of those is the case of Babar Ahmad who has been imprisoned here in the UK for over 7 years without charge after first being brutally assaulted by the UK Police. Babar Ahmads supporters recently submitted a government e petition with over 141,000 signatures calling for a Trial in the UK rather than being extradited to the US. Gary Mckinnon’s case you should be well aware of, again being sought for “crimes” committed on UK soil.Gary has already admitted to Computer Misuse, The case of retired businessman Christopher Tappin again accused of offences occurring on UK soil. Non of the above mentioned are seeking to evade justice they are merely asking that the correct place for any trial be in the UK where they were at all times and where any "alleged offences" took place.
• The JCHR called for the UK’s extradition laws to be amended to prevent the extradition of UK citizens in circumstances where the domestic authorities had decided not to prosecute them.
I implore you, as my elected voice in parliament, to attend this important debate and vote in favour of changing the extradition laws such that they offer greater protection to British citizens such as Richard, Gary, Chris and Babar.
Please respond to me with a copy of any correspondence or representations that you make regarding this matter.
Thank you for your email expressing your concerns about the nature of the UK’s extradition arrangements with America. Nick has asked me to respond.
The Treaty is wrong in principle. Extradition is based on reciprocity. For a state to give up one of its citizens to another jurisdiction can be justified only by the confident knowledge that citizens of both states have equal rights.