Theresa May to review UK extradition treaty with US

February 22, 2012

The Guardian on February 22, 2012 released the following:

“Home secretary to lead thorough review of extradition treaty following anger at recent deportations, David Cameron says

Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent

Theresa May, the home secretary, will conduct a “proper, sober, thoughtful review” into Britain’s extradition treaty with the US amid anger at a series of deportations, David Cameron has announced.

The prime minister told MPs the home secretary would take account of the views of parliamentarians after he was asked about the case of Christopher Tappin.

The retired company director from Kent is due to be flown to the US on Friday to face allegations of selling arms to Iran. Tappin, 65, admits shipping batteries that can be used in Hawk air defence missiles but says he thought they were for use in the car industry. He said he had no idea about their eventual destination.

Tappin’s case was raised by his MP, Jo Johnson, at prime minister’s questions on Wednesday. Johnson, the MP for Beckenham and brother of the London mayor, Boris Johnson, said: “US marshals will on Friday escort my 65-year-old constituent Chris Tappin from Heathrow to a jail in Texas, where he will face pressure to plea-bargain in order to avoid lengthy incarceration pending a financially ruinous trial for a crime he insists he did not commit.

“Could the prime minister say what steps he is considering to reform the US/UK extradition treaty that been so unfair to the likes of Gary McKinnon and now my constituent, Mr Tappin?”

The prime minister indicated the government would not block the extradition of Tappin. He said: “I quite understand why [he] raises this case of his constituent. In the case of Chris Tappin obviously he has been through a number of processes including the magistrates court and the high court. The home secretary has thoroughly considered his case.”

Cameron cited an independent report last year by Lord Justice Scott Baker, which said that the 2003 Extradition Act was not “lopsided” or biased against British citizens. Critics have said that the act, drawn up in haste after the 9/11 attacks, is unfair because British citizens do not enjoy the same level of legal protection as US citizens.

Gary McKinnon, the alleged computer hacker who has Asperger’s syndrome, faces extradition under the treaty.

The prime minister said: “[Jo Johnson] raises the point more generally of Sir Scott Baker’s report into the extradition arrangements, which he has made and we are now considering. He did not call for fundamental reform.”

But Cameron said May would lead a thorough review of the extradition treaty. “The home secretary is going to carefully examine his findings and also take into account the views of parliament that have been expressed in recent debates.

“Of course balancing these arrangements is absolutely vital. But I think it is important that at the same time we remember why we enter into these extradition treaties, which is to show respect to each other’s judicial processes and make sure that people who are accused of crimes can be tried for those crimes and Britain can benefit from that as well. So a proper, sober thoughtful review needs to take place and this case shows why.””


Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call


We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) here.


To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at or at one of the offices listed above.

British Computer Hacker May Avoid US Extradition

July 21, 2010

The computer hacker Gary McKinnon could avoid extradition to the US by serving time in a British prison, David Cameron has suggested after raising the issue in talks with Barack Obama.

Following his meeting at the White House, the prime minister told BBC Radio 5 Live that the government has discussed with the US ambassador the possibility of a prison sentence, but that the sentence be carried out in British prison.

Officials are nearing a deal to avoid McKinnon’s extradition to the US, where he faces up to 60 years in prison. Obama said a solution should be found within the law but in the context of the “co-operative relationship” between the US and the UK. Cameron and Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, have publicly criticized plans to extradite McKinnon.

McKinnon claims he only hacked into US systems in 2001-2002 to search for evidence of UFOs. Campaigners for McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, said they were “overjoyed” and hoped Cameron’s comments signaled a resolution to their eight-year campaign.

Last year Alan Johnson, the former home secretary and Theresa May’s predecessor, ruled that McKinnon could face extradition and trial in the US, but his lawyers were granted permission for a judicial review into whether the decision breached his human rights.

The case took another turn when May stepped in to adjourn the review days before it was due to start, to consider whether McKinnon is fit to stand trial in the US. The home secretary is still considering the issue.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at or at one of the offices listed above.

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