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British extradition treaty here to stay

Stephen Beard Oct 25, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

LISA NAPOLI: British politicians have condemned their government for reaffirming a fast-track extradition treaty with the U.S. The treaty came to prominence when the so-called Nat West three were sent to the U.S. to face charges related to the collapse of Enron. From London, Marketplace’s Stephen Beard says some feel it gives the U.S. excessive power.


STEPHEN BEARD: The treaty has been a hot topic for months. Born out of the war on terror, it aimed to speed up extradition between the U.S. and Britain.

So far however the main British targets have been alleged white collar criminals.

Businesses and opposition parties have protested, but the British government has stood firm and it’s just won a key vote in Parliament reinforcing the treaty.

The real problem, says former Cabinet Minister, John Redwood is that the treaty is lopsided. American citizens are dealt with more fairly than the Brits.

JOHN REDWOOD: In order to establish the right to extradition of an American citizen to Britain, good evidence has to be shown that is likely to stand up in a court of law and likely to make a good case. Whereas the same doesn’t apply to people in Britain facing extradition to the United States of America.

The U.S. authorities don’t need to prove probable cause. Nevertheless after the latest vote, the treaty seems likely to continue without amendment.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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