Lawyers Seek to Block Muslim Cleric’s Extradition to U.S.

October 3, 2012

The New York Times on October 2, 2012 released the following:

“By ALAN COWELL

LONDON — Lawyers for a Muslim cleric wanted in the United States on terrorism charges said on Tuesday that the preacher, Abu Hamza al-Masri, was physically unfit to face the accusations against him and that it would be “oppressive to extradite him” under the terms of British law.

Mr. Masri, 54, has been resisting extradition since 2004. American prosecutors want him to face charges of calling for holy war in Afghanistan, involvement in kidnappings in Yemen and participating in a plot to set up a terrorism training camp in Bly, Ore.

Mr. Masri, who was born in Egypt and was notorious for fiery sermons at the Finsbury Park mosque in North London, has been in prison in Britain since 2006 on separate charges, including incitement to murder.

Over the years, he has successfully avoided extradition through a series of legal hearings. But, last week, the European Court of Human Rights rejected a request for the right to appeal — a decision that British officials took as the final word permitting his extradition.

In court filings on Tuesday before a scheduled High Court hearing, Mr. Masri’s counsel, Alun Jones, said he would seek an interim injunction arguing that there is an “uncontradicted medical opinion that a scan is medically necessary” in light of the cleric’s “deteriorating health.”

If medical tests find him “unfit to plead, or arguably so, it will be argued that it would be oppressive to extradite within the meaning of” Britain’s extradition laws, Mr. Jones said according to The Press Association news agency.

The law is very clear, Mr. Jones said. “If a person is established to be unfit to plead, he should not be extradited.” But if “there is an issue” concerning fitness to plead, “he should indeed be extradited.”

Mr. Jones said a judge had referred in 2008 to Mr. Masri’s “very poor health.”

“Over four years later, it appears there has been, or may have been, a further deterioration, perhaps attributable to sleep deprivation and the continued confinement of the appellant in an unrelentingly harsh environment,” the lawyer said.

Mr. Masri, hook-handed and one-eyed from injuries many years ago, is one of five men wanted in the United States on charges ranging from murder to running a jihadist Web site. All five are seeking High Court injunctions to prevent their extradition, but none of them was expected to appear in court. Their cases will be heard by two judges over the next few days.

The four other suspects are Seyla Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary, Khaled al-Fawwaz and Babar Ahmad. Mr. Bary and Mr. Al-Fawwaz were charged with multiple murders in the 1998 bombings of the American Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, which killed more than 200 people. Mr. Ahsan, like Mr. Ahmad, is charged with providing support to terrorists and conspiracy-related offenses.

British civil liberties activists have complained about the treatment in particular of Mr. Ahmad, 37, a computer expert accused of being a fund-raiser for terrorist causes. He has been held without charge or trial for eight years. In an unusual interview earlier this year, Mr. Ahmad declared: ‘’I have been in prison now for nearly eight years without trial. I am facing extradition to the U.S. to spend the rest of my life in solitary confinement. I have never been questioned about the allegations against me. I have never been shown the evidence against me.”

Last April, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Britain could legally extradite all five men. They asked for the right of appeal but that request was denied last week, triggering the latest moves at the High Court.”

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

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom here.

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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 Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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

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British court freezes Abu Hamza extradition

September 26, 2012

Aljazeera on September 26, 2012 released the following:

“Senior judge has granted temporary ban against radical cleric’s removal after he lodged an appeal for an injunction.

A British high court judge has halted the extradition of Abu Hamza al-Masri to the US after the radical cleric lodged a last-ditch legal appeal, the judiciary office said.

The judge issued “interim injunctions” barring the removal of Egyptian-born cleric Abu Hamza and a second “terror” suspect, Khaled al-Fawwaz, pending a hearing in open court which will happen “urgently”, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The European Court of Human Rights on Monday upheld an April 10 ruling that it made approving the extradition from Britain of Hamza, Fawwaz and three other suspects to the US.

‘Delaying tactic’

“Applications have been lodged by Kamel Mustafa Mustafa (aka Abu Hamza) and Khaled al-Fawwaz seeking injunctions preventing their removal from the UK,” the judiciary office spokesperson said.

“A High Court judge has considered the applications on the papers and adjourned the cases to a hearing in open court.”

The grounds for the appeal by Abu Hamza and al-Fawwaz were not immediately clear. Their lawyers did not return calls seeking comment.

A British government source told the AFP news agency the appeals by the two terror suspects were a “delaying tactic”.

The government would continue working with the police and the US authorities to ensure the extraditions went ahead as quickly as possible, the source said.

Hamza, the former preacher of the Finsbury Park mosque in north London, is wanted in the US on charges including setting up an al-Qaeda-style training camp in the US state of Oregon.

He is currently serving a seven-year jail sentence in Britain for inciting followers to murder non-believers in speeches on the streets of London.”

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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 and the United Kingdom 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 Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

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A European Court Ruled Abu Hamza al-Masri Can be Extradited to the United States to Face Terrorism Charges

September 25, 2012

The Associated Press on September 24, 2012 released the following:

“UK to extradite radical Muslim cleric to US

By SYLVIA HUI, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — A European court ruled Monday that radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri can be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges, including allegedly trying to set up an al-Qaida training camp in rural Oregon.

The decision ends a long-running legal battle and means that al-Masri, considered one of Britain’s most notorious extremists, could be deported within weeks along with four other terrorism suspects in Britain.

Authorities in the U.S. have for years asked for Al-Masri and the others to be handed over, but the process had been delayed because the men raised human rights objections.

The men had argued before the European Court of Human Rights that they could face prison conditions and jail terms in the U.S. that would expose them to “torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” in breach of the European human rights code.

In April, the Strasbourg, France-based court rejected those claims. Al-Masri and the four others lodged an appeal to the court’s highest judges, but on Monday the court said it refused to hear it. “Today the Grand Chamber Panel decided to reject the request,” the court said in a brief statement. It did not give a reason for refusing the appeal.

Britain’s Home Office and the U.S. Department of Justice welcomed the decision.

“We will work to ensure that the individuals are handed over to the U.S. authorities as quickly as possible,” said the Home Office.

The suspects, who are accused of crimes such as raising funds for terrorists, could face life sentences in a maximum-security prison.

Al-Masri was arrested in Britain in 2004 at the request of U.S. authorities, who have called him “a terrorist facilitator with a global reach.”

They accuse him of assisting the taking of 16 hostages — including two American tourists — in Yemen in 1998 and of conspiring to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon, between 2000 and 2001.

He also is accused of conspiring with a U.S. citizen to facilitate a jihad — or holy war — in Afghanistan and providing material support to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

The cleric, who is blind in one eye and wears a hook for a hand, lost several British court cases in his fight against extradition before taking the case to the European court in 2008.

Known for his fiery anti-Western and anti-Semitic outbursts, he claims he has lost his Egyptian nationality, but Britain considers him an Egyptian citizen. He is currently serving a seven-year prison term in Britain for separate charges of inciting hatred.

The other four suspects due to be extradited to the U.S. are Babar Ahmad, Syed Tahla Ahsan, Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary.

Ahmad and Ahsan are charged in U.S. federal court in Connecticut with running a terrorist website in London, providing material support to terrorists, conspiring to kill U.S. nationals, and money laundering. Supporters of Ahmad, who was arrested in 2004 and has been held in a British jail since then without charge, are trying to help him get a trial in Britain because his alleged offense happened in London.

Al-Fawwaz and Bary, accused of being key aides to Osama bin Laden in London, are wanted in a New York federal court for the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. Al-Fawwaz faces many counts of murder.

The human rights court said that it has not decided on the case of a sixth suspect, Haroon Rashid Aswat, who was accused of being Al-Masri’s co-conspirator in attempting to set up the camp in Oregon. The court said it needed to consider more information about his case.

In Washington, Dean Boyd, spokesman for the National Security Division of the U.S. justice department, said: “We are pleased that the litigation before the European Court of Human Rights in these cases has come to an end, and we will be working with the U.K. authorities on the arrangements to bring these subjects to the United States for prosecution.””

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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 Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

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UK’s Islamic cleric appeals extradition to US

July 10, 2012

Reuters on July 10, 2012 released the following:

“* Abu Hamza al-Masri fights extradition to U.S.

* Egyptian-born cleric, held in UK, accused of al Qaeda link

* Strasbourg court had ruled his deportation legal

STRASBOURG, France, July 10 (Reuters) – One of Britain’s most notorious Islamist clerics has appealed a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights allowing London to extradite him to the United States, slowing down U.S. efforts to prosecute him for terrorism.

The appeal filed by lawyers for Abu Hamza al-Masri and four other suspects late on Monday will delay attempts to put the Egyptian-born cleric on trial on charges he supported al Qaeda and aided a fatal kidnapping in Yemen.

A panel of five judges could decide within a few weeks on the merit of the appeal, judicial sources said.

In April, the court ruled it lawful for Britain to extradite al-Masri, famed in the British media as a one-eyed radical with a metal hook for a hand, to the United States, where he could face a sentence of over 100 years in high security “Supermax” prisons.

That ruling similarly applied to Barbar Ahmad, Syed Tahla Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled Al-Fawwaz, all incarcerated in Britain, three of whom have been under indictment for years in New York.

Lawyers for al-Masri had argued that such treatment would contravene his human rights. The appeal focuses on the risk of being subjected to “inhuman and degrading treatment” in such prisons, the sources said.

If the appeal is deemed valid, it will be judged by the grand chamber of 17 judges at the Strasbourg-based court It is rare for a case to be accepted to be heard by that full body.

Al-Masri is viewed as one of the most radical Islamists in Britain where he was once a preacher at a North London mosque but was later jailed for inciting murder and racial hatred. He is being held in a British jail.

He was indicted in 2004 by a federal grand jury in New York, accused of providing material support to al Qaeda and for involvement in a 1998 hostage taking in Yemen in which four hostages were killed. (Reporting by Gilbert Reilhac; Writing by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)”

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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 and the United Kingdom 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 Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

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European court OKs extradition to U.S. of five terrorism suspects

April 10, 2012
Gary McKinnon
“Photo: Radical cleric Abu Hamza Masri, whom the U.S. wants extradited from Britain to face terrorism-related charges, preaches outside a London mosque in February 2003. Credit: Agence France-Presse”

Los Angeles Times on April 10, 2012 released the following:

“REPORTING FROM LONDON — A fiery Muslim cleric who celebrated the Sept. 11 attacks in sermons and allegedly tried to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon can be extradited to the United States from Britain, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday.

The court said Abu Hamza Masri and four other terrorism suspects could be sent to face trial in the U.S. without fear that they would face “inhuman and degrading” conditions in a maximum-security prison if convicted. The men had argued that they could be subject to solitary confinement for the rest of their lives in a so-called “supermax” prison in Colorado where many terrorism convicts are serving time.

The case is considered an important one for U.S.-Europe relations, because a ruling against extradition would have been tantamount to a denunciation of the American judicial and corrections system and could have dealt a blow to anti-terrorism cooperation across the Atlantic.

The five men will not be immediately deported, however, despite the British government’s pledge to “ensure that the suspects are handed over to the U.S. authorities as quickly as possible.” The suspects have three months to appeal the decision to the European court’s Grand Chamber, but such appeals are rarely taken up.

The Egyptian-born Masri, the most prominent of the five men, shot to notoriety here in Britain as the imam of a North London mosque who preached sermons extolling the Sept. 11 attacks, demanding the stoning of gay people and calling for the death of nonbelievers. He is currently serving a seven-year sentence in a British prison for inciting murder and racial hatred.

U.S. authorities want Masri extradited to face allegations that he tried to set up a training camp in Bly, Ore., for would-be insurgents in Afghanistan and that he was involved in the kidnapping of a group of Western tourists in Yemen in 1998. Three Britons and an Australian were killed when Yemeni security forces stormed the place where the hostages were being held.

The other suspects covered by Tuesday’s European court ruling include one of Masri’s alleged conspirators in trying to establish the Oregon terrorist training camp and two men accused of involvement in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The European court, based in Strasbourg, France, rejected the men’s contention that their human rights would be violated if they were sent to the Administrative Maximum, or ADX, facility in Florence, Colo.

“If the applicants were convicted as charged, the U.S. authorities would be justified in considering them a significant security risk and in imposing strict limitations on their ability to communicate with the outside world,” the seven judges ruled.

In addition, inmates at ADX Florence, “although confined to their cells for the vast majority of the time,” are given access to “services and activities (television, radio, newspapers, books, hobby and craft items, telephone calls, social visits, correspondence with families, group prayer)” that go beyond what most prisons in Europe provide, the judges noted.

A sixth suspect was not included in the ruling because the court wants more information on his mental health.

— Henry Chu”

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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 C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Murder suspects lose appeal against extradition to US

January 17, 2012

The Guardian on January 17, 2012 released the following:

“European court of human rights dismisses appeals by Briton Phillip Harkins and American Joshua Edwards

Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent

Two murder suspects who claim they may face the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole if extradited to the US have lost their appeals at the European court of human rights (ECHR).

The unanimous decision by a panel of seven judges to dismiss their claims will be seen as a significant boost for UK-US extradition arrangements and a blow to those campaigning to reform the controversial 2003 agreement.

Both Phillip Harkins, a British national, and Joshua Edwards, an American, now face removal to the US for trial later this year. They are accused of murder and other offences in separate incidents.

Harkins, 34, is alleged to have shot dead a marijuana dealer in Jacksonville, Florida, during a robbery in 2000. He denies taking part in the killing, claiming he had merely lent his car to one of the assailants. In 2003, he was arrested in Britain following a fatal car accident.

Edwards, 25, is said to have had an argument with two other men about his short stature. He is accused of having left the house in Maryland, returned later with a pistol and shot both men in the head, one of whom subsequently died. In 2007, he was arrested in the UK.

Both suspects have resisted extradition to the US following orders made against them by the home secretary. Despite assurances from the US authorities that they would not be given the death penalty, Harkins and Edwards argued that if sent back they could be executed.

Lawyers for the two men also told the Strasbourg court they might receive life sentences of imprisonment without parole that would amount to a breach of their rights under Article 3 of the European convention on human rights that prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment.

But their claims were dismissed by the ECHR. In a summary of the decision, the court said “the diplomatic assurances, provided by the US to the British government – that the death penalty would not be sought in respect of Mr Harkins or Mr Edwards – were clear and sufficient to remove any risk that either of the applicants could be sentenced to death if extradited, particularly as the US had a long history of respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law”.

On the question of life imprisonment without parole, the court said it would not be disproportionate if Harkins or Edwards were given life sentences. Both men have three months to appeal against the judgment to the ECHR’s upper chamber and cannot be removed until that period has passed.

Critics of the 2003 Extradition Act claim the Anglo-American treaty, drawn up in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, is unfair because British citizens facing extradition do not enjoy the same degree of legal protection as Americans.

Campaigners on behalf of Gary McKinnon, the 45-year-old who has Asperger’s syndrome and faces extradition to the US on computer hacking charges, argue that the treaty is one-sided and makes it too easy to remove British citizens.

Last October, however, a review by Lord Justice Baker dismissed their allegations, concluding that the arrangement was balanced and fair.

Two other Britons are fighting extradition to the US: Richard O’Dwyer, 23, and retired businessman Christopher Tappin. O’Dwyer would be the first British citizen to be extradited over the illegal streaming of films. Tappin is wanted in the US on charges of conspiring to sell batteries for Iranian missiles.”

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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 and ?? 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 mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Family of London Terror Suspect Calls for UK Trial

July 25, 2011

The family of a south London man who is fighting against his extradition to the US on terrorism charges have called for him to be tried in the UK.

Syed Talha Ahsan, 31, was arrested from his home in Tooting in July 2006 and has been held in Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire for the past five years.

The US accuses him of running extremist websites and supporting the Taliban. He has not been charged by UK authorities.

His extradition case has been taken to the European Court of Human Rights.

Both the US embassy and the UK Home Office have refused to comment on the case.

Mr Ahsan, who studied at Dulwich College and has a first class degree in Arabic from the School of Oriental and African Studies, became increasingly religious and political while at school, his family said.

He was arrested on a federal indictment from the district attorney of the state of Connecticut.

The US alleges he was involved with extremist websites between 1997 and 2004, hosted on a US service provider.

He is also accused of supporting the Taliban and having discussed in emails the possibility of attacking naval targets in the Persian Gulf. Mr Ahsan denies all charges.

Mr Ahsan’s family wants his trial to take place in the UK claiming that he could be subjected to “inhumane treatment” in the US because he faces the prospect of being detained in a so-called “supermax” high security prison in Colorado, where other terror suspects were held.

They have claimed this would be in breach of his human rights as they believe he could face years of solitary confinement and could be locked up for 23 hours a day.

His father Abu Ahsan said: “He’s born and brought up in this country and if he’d done anything wrong in this country then it will be tried according to the law in this country.

His father further stated, “He has never been in America.”

Robin Simcox, from the Henry Jackson Society – an organization which seeks to promote liberal democracy around the world – believes extradition would be in the interests of justice.

He said: “For the European court to decide all of a sudden that America wouldn’t be a fair place to try terrorist suspects strikes me as a completely unreasonable position to take.”

But five years on Abu Ahsan remains hopeful of being reunited with his son.

“I hope he will come back and when he will come back he will take (over) my business,” he said.

This article was published by BBC New London on July 21, 2011.

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 extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

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

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