“Corrupt Chinese hiding in Western nations elude Beijing’s ‘fox hunt’”

August 28, 2014

Reuters on August 27, 2014 released the following:

BY SUI-LEE WEE

“(Reuters) – When Yang Xiuzhu got wind in 2003 that Chinese anti-corruption investigators were looking into her affairs, she boarded a flight to Singapore. A few days later Yang changed her name and flew to New York.

China filed an arrest warrant through Interpol for Yang, a senior official who oversaw construction projects in the booming eastern province of Zhejiang. She was eventually detained in Amsterdam in 2005, but nearly a decade on, China has yet to get her back despite protracted negotiations with the Netherlands.

Yang’s case and others like it underscore the challenge for President Xi Jinping as he expands his already far-reaching anti-corruption campaign to tracking down suspects who have fled abroad, often taking their ill-gotten gains with them.

State media has been using the latest prong to Xi’s crackdown – dubbed the “fox hunt” by the Ministry of Public Security in July – to warn officials about absconding.

But while China has extradition treaties with 38 countries, it doesn’t have one with the Netherlands, or with the United States, Canada and Australia – the three most popular destinations for suspected economic criminals, according to state media.

Adding to the allure of those three countries for corrupt officials is suspicion there of Chinese law enforcement, said Chinese legal experts, along with the quality of life, world-class educational facilities and large ethnic Chinese communities.

Indeed, Western governments have long been reluctant to hand over Chinese suspects because the ruling Communist Party controls China’s courts and torture can be used to extract confessions, the experts said. Capital punishment is also widely meted out, including for corruption.

“There are differences in our political systems as well as ideological differences,” said Lin Xin, a researcher who specializes in international law at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank.

“These differences will affect extradition.”

Earlier this month, Chinese officials said more than 150 “economic fugitives”, many of them corrupt officials, were in the United States. The government has given no recent overall figure for the number at large around the world.

Interpol has arrest warrants for 69 Chinese wanted on charges of corruption, embezzlement, fraud and bribery, according to a Reuters analysis of its public database.

Beijing has also grappled with so-called “naked officials” – government workers whose family members are overseas – and who use those connections to illegally shift assets out of China.

The sums of money believed to have been spirited out from all types of malfeasance are staggering. The Washington-based Global Financial Integrity group, a non-profit organization that analyses illicit financial flows, estimates that about $2.83 trillion flowed illegally out of China from 2005 to 2011.

Neither the Ministry of Public Security nor the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party’s anti-graft watchdog, responded to requests for comment.

“FOX HUNT” GATHERING PACE?

China has extradited 730 people suspected of major economic crimes from dozens of countries since 2008, the official Xinhua news agency said in July. In a sign the “fox hunt” might be picking up, 18 have surrendered or been extradited in the past month from places such as Cambodia, Indonesia and Uganda, Xinhua said.

But very few return from Western countries, said Liao Ran, a senior program coordinator of the Asia and Pacific department at Transparency International, a Berlin-based international corruption watchdog.

The most prominent is Lai Changxing, once China’s most-wanted fugitive, who fled to Canada with his family in 1999 and claimed refugee status after saying allegations that he ran a multi-billion-dollar smuggling operation in the southeastern city of Xiamen were politically motivated.

After a Canadian court rejected Lai’s application for refugee status, dismissing concerns he could be tortured or executed if sent home, Lai was deported, but not extradited, in 2011. He was jailed for life the following year.

David Matas, a lawyer who represented Lai in his refugee claim proceedings, said the case took so long because Canadian courts wanted to examine assurances from China that it would not execute or torture Lai.

Despite China’s promises, Lai was skeptical since his brother and accountant had both died in jail, Matas said, adding the circumstances of their deaths were never fully explained.

“He was worried something like that could happen to him,” Matas said by telephone from Winnipeg.

Chinese state media reported in 2009 that Lai’s elder brother, Lai Shuiqiang, had died in prison in 2002 “after he suddenly fell ill”. There were no articles about the accountant.

Prison officials did not respond to a request for comment.

U.S. TALKS

To help return fugitives in the United States, the Ministry of Public Security is trying to set up annual high-level meetings with U.S. authorities, the China Daily said on Aug. 11.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice said agency officials would meet Chinese counterparts in Beijing in December through the U.S.-China Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement Cooperation, adding the department regularly discusses law enforcement issues with China, including fugitives in both countries.

The spokesman, Peter Carr, said both sides have occasionally returned fugitives when they were also subject to deportation under immigration laws, but declined to give specific examples.

In Canada, officials at various ministries including the Justice Ministry declined to comment on whether Chinese anti-graft investigators were in the country or planned to visit.

In July 2013, the two governments concluded talks on a deal on sharing forfeited assets and the return of property. The agreement will not come into force until both sides ratify it. A Justice Ministry spokeswoman said she was not aware of Chinese officials in Canada trying to regain the proceeds of crime from corruption back home.

The Australian Attorney General’s office said it was a long-standing practice not to confirm or deny if requests for assistance had come from foreign countries in investigations.

PROPERTY DEVELOPERS

Yang Xiuzhu worked her way up the ranks to become a deputy director of the construction bureau in Zhejiang province, according to Nanfengchuang, a magazine owned by the state-run Guangzhou Daily.

Local authorities said in 2004 she accepted kickbacks from property developers of more than 250 million yuan ($40.62 million), Xinhua has reported.

She was arrested in 2005 upon her arrival in the Netherlands, where Chinese anti-corruption and legal experts believe she remains. It was unclear why Yang flew there or whether she has a lawyer.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry said it would not comment on individual cases, although Dutch officials said there was no pending extradition request from China.

As recently as 2011, Xinhua reported that “the Chinese government is actively handling the extradition formalities” involving Yang.

STOLEN ASSETS

Recovering stolen assets might be easier for China as most nations want to stem the flow of corrupt money across borders, legal experts said, although some sums returned so far are paltry.

Australia for example has repatriated A$7.5 million to China since 2002 from embezzlement, fraud and money laundering, the Attorney General’s department said.

“I think the U.S. is very, very serious about trying to trace and locate ill-gotten assets of politicos of any state who will seek to have the money returned,” said Douglas McNabb, a D.C.-based veteran extradition lawyer.

Legal experts said China’s best option for getting stolen assets would be through the U.N. Convention Against Corruption which obliges countries that have ratified it to cooperate.

The work could be time-consuming.

One example is a $3 million villa in the French Riviera that was a key piece of evidence in the corruption trial of Bo Xilai, the former high-flying Chinese politician who was sentenced to life in prison in 2013.

The Chinese court said it would seize the villa, which prosecutors say was given to Bo and his wife by a businessman friend. One year later, it’s unclear if talks have progressed, or even started. The court did not respond to a request for comment.

(1 dollar = 6.1510 Chinese yuan)

(Additional reporting by Beijing Newsroom, Swati Pandey in SYDNEY, Rachel Armstrong in SINGAPORE, Anthony Deutsch in AMSTERDAM, David Ljunggren in OTTAWA, Julie Gordon in VANCOUVER and Aruna Viswanatha in WASHINGTON; Editing by Dean Yates)”

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

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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“Man on US drugs charges must be extradited with anonymity, High Court rules”

June 12, 2013

London24 on June 12, 2013 released the following:

“A man from west London who is wanted in the US for conspiring to import crystal meth must be extradited without the public knowing his identity, the High Court ruled today.

Two judges said the man, known only as “B”, must not be named to protect his vulnerable 12-year-old daughter, “H”, from publicity.

The court had been told by B’s lawyers that father and daughter were very close and removing him from the UK could “devastate” her – but nevertheless the court ruled B must stand trial in the US, where he is accused of involvement in conspiracies to import and distribute crystal meth between 2011-12.

B was alleged to have been involved in organising the deals through multiple phone calls with a New York contact without ever leaving the UK. His lawyers contended it was a case of entrapment.

Refusing the man’s appeal against extradition, the judges rejected his claim that his removal would cause a disproportionate breach of his daughter’s right to a family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

They imposed reporting restrictions, saying the girl was facing a “deeply troubling” time and entitled to protection from media attention.

Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen’s Bench Division, sitting with Mr Justice Cranston, said seeing her father extradited to New York would be hard on H, and “it would be horrible for her to go to school” with others knowing what was happening to her and her father.

The judge also gave an indication to the US authorities that B had “scrupulously observed his bail conditions” in the UK, and might be a suitable candidate for parole in the run-up to his trial so that his daughter could remain with him.

But the judge stressed it was a matter for American prosecutors and judges.

B was appealing against a ruling by Senior District Judge Howard Riddle at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in December 2012 that his case was fit for extradition.

Home Secretary Theresa May subsequently ordered B’s removal in February this year.

Two of the offences B of which B stands accused in the US carry maximum sentences of life imprisonment, Mr Justice Cranston said.

The judge said: “We know the appellant is alleged to have offered to supply up to five kilograms of crystal meth per week.”

He added: “The future of H is deeply troubling, but it is plainly not disproportionate for the appellant to be extradited to the US to stand trial there on such serious charges.””

————————————————————–

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.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

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Christopher Tappin, extradition’s forgotten victim who is awaiting US trial, talks of his strange life in Texas

October 22, 2012

The Telegraph on October 21, 2012 released the following:

“By Philip Sherwell

As he strolled off the fairway with his scorecard at the 18th hole, the white-haired man in blue polo shirt and khaki shorts could have been just another relaxed late-afternoon golfer.

But a closer look revealed two pieces of extra “kit” not needed by his playing partners at the country club in the affluent leafy suburbia north of Houston.

Inside the white sock on his left foot was the bulge of an ankle bracelet, while a satellite GPS tracking device blinked in a holster on his belt.

For this was Christopher Tappin, the retired British businessman, former president of the Kent Golf Union and epitome of Home Counties respectability who will go on trial in two weeks [NOV 5] in a Texas courtroom charged with conspiring to supply batteries for Iranian missiles.

His case made headlines as he fought extradition from Britain for five years, under the lopsided treaty passed by the Labour government after the Sept 2001 terror attacks.

This requires evidence of “probable cause” before an American is extradited to Britain, a far higher standard of proof than the “reasonable suspicion” that suffices to send a Briton to trial in the US.

Mr Tappin, 65, who has consistently denied the charges, eventually lost that battle in February and was handed over to the US authorities. The next two months were spent in the hellish conditions of a federal prison in New Mexico, much of the time in solitary confinement.

In April, he was released under strict bail conditions – including wearing the ankle bracelet and GPS tracker to ensure that he does not leave the three Texas counties where he is allowed out before his overnight curfew.

And last week, he spoke for the first time about his life since then in a wide-ranging interview with The Sunday Telegraph.

As he finished the 18 holes in a brisk round of 75, the 65-year-old grandfather looked as calm as the new friends he has made among the businessmen and lawyers at the club.

There was no indication of the inner turmoil that he must feel as he prepares to face an agonising dilemma next month in a federal courtroom in El Paso.

If he pleads not guilty and loses in a country with one of the world’s highest conviction rates, then he could be jailed for up to 35 years in the US – effectively a life sentence away from his sick wife, two children and grandson.

But in a common US legal move, prosecutors are expected to offer him a plea bargain that would give him a much shorter prison term and to probably repatriation to a British jail – provided he admits at least some of the charges.

Mr Tappin, from Orpington, owned a freight shipping company and is accused of trying to buy 50 oxide batteries to power Iranian Hawk missiles after a colleague made contact with a front company set up by the Department of Homeland Security.

He has, however, always insisted he was the unwitting victim of an FBI sting operation and believed the batteries were for commercial use in the Netherlands.

For Mr Tappin, the rounds of his beloved golf that he plays most days are a solace and escape. “Without the golf, I’d go raving mad,” he said. “It keeps me from thinking too much about the case, but it’s tough, it’s very tough.”

His failed battle against extradition was one among a series involving Britons accused in the US of alleged crimes that took place on UK soil.

Last week, he heard some bittersweet news about the most high-profile of all such cases during his daily telephone call from his wife his wife Elaine, who is in Britain and unable to visit him because she suffers Churg-Strauss syndrome, a severe allergic condition that endangers the body’s vital organs.

She told him that Theresa May, the Home Secretary, had ruled that the Briton, Gary McKinnon, accused of hacking into US military computers and causing 300 of them to crash, would not be handed to the US authorities for trial. Her last-minute decision to block his extradition frustrated US officials, who said publicly that they were “disappointed” but were privately furious.

Mrs May took the decision on medical grounds – Mr McKinnon suffers from Asperger’s, a form of autism and his family had argued that he would not survive life inside an US jail, even awaiting trial.

But she also announced plans to introduce a so-called “forum bar” under which judges would decide whether alleged offences should be tried in Britain rather than in the US. If such a law had already been in place, Mr Tappin might have been tried in Britain rather than in America – and as key evidence was collected from a sting operation, the case could have been thrown out before reaching court.

“I’m delighted for Gary and his mother Janis,” he said. “I’ve met them several times and this is great news.

“Gary would never have survived the prison they slung me into, not in his condition. It was the psychotic screaming throughout the night that got me. And the head-banging. And God help him if he’d had to go through solitary like I did, with the lights on 24 hours and the only human contact when they give you a meal three times a day. He couldn’t have coped.

“I desperately hope this presages a change to the system. Something has to be done with that treaty and we’ve been advocating for a ‘forum bar’ for a long time. It’s got to be changed.

“I hope I am the final Brit to be extradited under this treaty as it stands. My case should never be being tried here in the US, I was living in the UK when these alleged offences took place, the crimes were allegedly committed in Britain and the evidence against me comes from the UK, so why am I not being tried in the UK?”

As Mr Tappin awaits that trial, he is trapped in a “gilded cage” existence, and one that is eating up the money he made running his freight business.

After his release on bail, he initially lived at his lawyer’s $2 million home in an upmarket neighbourhood that is built around a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and protected by private guards and security barriers.

He is now renting his own one-bedroom apartment in a nearby gated community in the wealthy suburban belt north of Houston called Woodlands. “There’s a gym and a swimming pool that I use and I try and keep myself physically fit, though mentally is a whole different challenge,” he said.

“It a very nice area with some lovely people, but you pay a heavy price for life in a paradise,” he noted wrily. “I miss my family and friends and home deeply. Life is boring, to be honest. Each day is deja deja deja déjà vu.”

He is not allowed access to email or the internet under the terms of his bail, but talks each day with his wife and friends and also spends several hours writing and answering letters in longhand.

And he does of course have his golf, playing with his own clubs after they were brought out on a visit by his son Neil, the deputy editor of Golf Monthly magazine. “I’m playing well and happy to get my game back after his two months in jail,” he said. “But these are hardly the circumstances in which I’d want to sharpen my game.”

Pointing to his ankle bracelet and GPS device he added: “And of course, I have to wear these things. It’s not comfortable, but you get used to it. The court charges me a $9 fee a day for the honour of wearing them.”

He has to be home each night from 10pm to 6am under a curfew, and most evenings he cooks for himself. So one big plus, he said, was the discovery of Goodwood’s British Market, a nearby store that specialises in foods from Britain. “They’ve got it all, bangers, fish and chips, Heinz baked beans, HP sauce, Robinson marmalade and the like,” he said.

But he is lonely and desperately pines for home. “It’s nice to hear an English accent,” he said during the interview. “At least the heat of summer has relented. This is the only place where I know where they have to chill the outdoor pools with ice.”

Adding to the strain is the deterioration in his wife’s health. Mrs Tappin visited him in June, but is now no longer allowed to fly on doctor’s orders and is awaiting an operation.

“Elaine is very unwell and this whole situation is really aggravating her condition,” he said. “It used to be me who cared for her. That’s now fallen to my daughter Georgina, but it’s a real strain for her.”

No family will be in El Paso on Nov 5 when appears in court – quite possibly in the manacles and jumpsuit that he had to wear for earlier hearings. “It really wouldn’t serve any purpose to have them there,” he said with resignation. “I just need to get home to them.” As the trial date approaches, the strain is taking its toll. “I used to feel OK, that I have a strong case and didn’t worry too much about it. But the nearer it gets the more I worry.”

He has lost weight and runs his hand through his thinning hair as he spoke, sighing and blowing out air as he talks about his exasperation at his plight.

“It’s utterly devastating to be in this situation at my stage in life,” he said. “I should be spending my retirement looking after my wife, enjoying my new grandchild and playing some golf. Extradition was a very bitter pill to swallow.”

He is not only dealing with the enormity of his legal challenge. He is also undergoing a crash course in American culture, and in particular that of its biggest state, as he finds himself living in a country that he only ever visited as an occasional tourist, the last time 10 years ago.

“Texas is a funny old pace and everything’s just so very different from Kent,” he mused. “They go on about road deaths here but there are guns everywhere and they don’t seem to care. There’s even a Gun Channel on the TV, for heaven’s sake.

“I have made some good friends playing golf, but it is difficult to reconcile how nice some of the people are and how harsh the system is. It’s not just me of course. They’re just as harsh on their own people. They don’t call it ‘Incarceration Nation’ for nothing. There is a huge prison population and the prison industry is a big business.”

Mr Tappin talks regularly to David Bermingham, one of the “NatWest Three”, the British bankers who were also controversially extradited to the US for financial crimes allegedly committed in the UK. The men were jailed in the US after admitting a single offence and sent home to serve out their sentences.

“It’s good to talk to someone who has been in this situation,” he said. And he hopes that a change in the extradition treaty will come in time to help Richard O’Dwyer, a 24-year student in Sheffield, who faces jail in the US for hosting a television download website from his bedsit.

Meanwhile, Mr Tappin is tangling with another immediate headache. His passport has been removed so he cannot board a flight. But his bail conditions restrict his movements to two counties in and around Houston, as his lawyer is based there, and El Paso, where he faces trial – but not the swath of Texas through which he would have to drive between them.
“I’m not quite how I’m even going to get to court,” he said. “What a situation.””

————————————————————–

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.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


US Extradition Act of 2003: UK Parliament fumes over use against citizens

July 9, 2012

Alaska Dispatch on July 8, 2012 released the following:

By: Michael Goldfarb

“LONDON, UK — The special relationship — Britain and the US, or is that the US and Britain? — is often remarked on here in Britain, particularly when there is a change at the top of government. A new president or prime minister is good for a couple of days of headlines, at least, about America and her most important ally.

It’s been decades since there was a serious challenge to the idea that the natural order of things is that the US and UK are as one on the matters that count. So it is easy to forget that for most of the last two centuries the two countries have frequently been “frenemies.”

But now there is an issue that threatens the perfect calm: extradition — to be specific, the Extradition Act of 2003.

Passed by a Labour-dominated Parliament in the aftermath of 9/11, when the Relationship was at the height of its Specialness, the Extradition Treaty was supposed to make it easier for Britain to send jihadists arrested on British soil to the US, if a request was made.

But the treaty immediately became controversial because it was used as much against British businessmen and computer hackers as suspects in the War on Terror.

The most recent example is the case of Richard O’Dwyer, a graduate student in computer science, who American authorities want extradited to face charges of copyright infringement. O’Dwyer set up a website TVshack.net, a search engine, which listed sites where films and programs could be watched. He is not accused of streaming any himself.

If you go to the site now, a notice comes up saying the domain name has been seized by US Immigration and Customs Service. This is followed by a brief, professionally made (and kind of clever) anti-piracy video.

The US request was granted by Britain’s Home Secretary, Theresa May, last March. The controversy burst out again last week, when Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, launched a campaign in The Guardian newspaper to prevent the extradition by posting an online petition.

Wales notes that had O’Dwyer been arrested for similar crimes in Britain, the maximum sentence would be six months. In the US, he could serve 10 years, if convicted.

The disproportion in sentencing between the two countries is one reason the treaty is increasingly coming under fire. The other is the standard of proof required for an extradition request to be granted. The last extradition treaty — signed in 1870 when Britain was the global superpower — required the US to show it had a prima facie case against the person being extradited. The new one drops that to “reasonable suspicion.”

This is an issue that cuts across party lines. The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, composed of members of all parties, called for the treaty to be renegotiated, although another parliamentary review found that there was no imbalance at all.

Typical of those raising questions is Conservative MP Dominic Raab. A self-described America lover and Atlanticist, he understands why fast-track extradition “might be a jolly good thing” when dealing with terror suspects, but feels “the pendulum has swung too far” in facilitating all manner of extradition requests.

He questions the low legal threshold these requests have to pass. He alludes to the O’Dwyer case, “If criminal conduct is alleged to take place in the UK and the UK courts aren’t interested in prosecuting, why should American courts be allowed to prosecute a British citizen?” Raab adds, “We need sensible safe guards for our citizens.”

Raab points out that regardless of whether a suspect is proven innocent, an extradition “destroys your life. If you take six months to two years to fight charges successfully, the expenses incurred are devastating.”

American legal costs are much higher than those in Britain. Some Brits who have been extradited have struck a plea bargain rather than lose all their money. “But if you cop a plea bargain in return for a lighter sentence it still destroys your life,” says Raab.

There is another aspect of the extradition law that has Brits concerned: the fearsome reputation of American prisons. Their image as sinkholes of gang violence, homosexual rape and other kinds of depravity has spread around the planet via films and television.

This reputation was testified to recently by Gary Mulgrew, one of the NatWest Three — British bankers who were accused of a fraud related to Enron’s collapse and extradited to Texas. The trio pleaded guilty to one count each in order to reduce their prison time.

Now Mulgrew has written an account of his time in Big Spring, Texas penitentiary. “Gang of One” appeared in the ultra-right wing Daily Mail earlier this year, with the headline, “This wasn’t punishment. It was the Big Brother house with wall-to-wall psychos.”

It spared readers none of the horrors of life inside.

It is articles like this — and the sense that somehow Britain is being bullied into sending for trial people the law was not intended to cover — that lead to calls for either the scrapping or renegotiation of the Extradition Treaty.

Enter the case of Gary McKinnon, accused of committing the biggest military hack of all time.

In 2001-2002, McKinnon is alleged to have hacked into US military and NASA computers a total of 97 times.

Why?

He was looking to prove the military and space agencies were hiding evidence of extraterrestrial life and alien technology.

Sound odd?

Well McKinnon suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. His computer expertise and rather strange obsession is offered as proof of his condition.

The size of the hack, however, has US prosecutors fuming. McKinnon could face up to 70 years in prison if tried in the US and convicted on all counts.

The 46-year-old’s case is one of the hotter political potatoes British Prime Minister David Cameron has to handle. On July 5, McKinnon was offered another chance by Home Secretary May to have further medical tests before she makes her decision. Clearly, she wants to delay things for as long as possible, reports the Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph.

If she chooses to interpret the treaty literally and send McKinnon to the US for trial, the “special relationship” will take a real beating here and the Conservative Party will pay the electoral price.”

————————————————————–

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.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Joran van der Sloot challenges extradition to U.S.

May 9, 2012

CNN on May 9, 2012 released the following:

“From Mayra Cuevas, InSession

(CNN) — Joran van der Sloot told a judge and prosecutor Tuesday that he would prefer to finish serving a 28-year murder sentence in Peru rather than be extradited to the United States to face charges related to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, his Peruvian lawyer said.

Representatives from the U.S. Embassy and the FBI attended the extradition hearing, which was not open to the public, Maximo Altez told InSession on Tru TV.

A conviction in the United States could affect van der Sloot’s chances of being paroled in Peru, said Altez. He noted that a long-standing extradition treaty between the two countries means that van der Sloot will likely be extradited, despite his stated preference about remaining in Peru.

Peruvian judges in January sentenced the Dutchman to 28 years in prison for the murder in 2010 of Stephany Flores. He is also the prime suspect in the disappearance of Holloway. U.S. authorities want to try van der Sloot on charges of extortion and wire fraud in the Holloway case.

“I think he will be extradited within the next three months,” Altez said last month. “He will go to trial in the United States. Once he is sentenced, he will return to Peru to finish serving his 28 years, and then go back to the States to serve whatever sentence he gets there.”

In June 2010, a federal grand jury in Alabama indicted him after allegations that he tried to extort $250,000 from Holloway’s mother, Beth Holloway. Van der Sloot offered to provide what turned out to be bogus information about the whereabouts of Holloway’s remains in exchange for the money, according to the indictment.

He was allegedly given $25,000, which authorities say he used to travel to Peru for a poker tournament.

If found guilty of extortion, he could be sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Van der Sloot admitted to killing Flores, 21, in his Lima hotel room. The judges gave him a sentence two years short of the 30-year maximum. They ordered he be expelled from Peru at the end of his sentence and required him to pay about $74,500 in reparations to Flores’ relatives.

Van der Sloot confessed to robbery in addition to murder, admitting that he stole Flores’ belongings, including more than $300 in local currency, credit cards and the victim’s van as a means to leave the country. He fled to Chile and was arrested a few days later.

Another van der Sloot attorney, Jose Luis Jimenez, has said that his client was under special stress the day of the 2010 murder, which marked five years after Holloway, an 18-year-old from Alabama, disappeared while vacationing on Aruba.

Van der Sloot, who was among the last people reported to have been seen with Holloway, was detained twice but never charged in the case.

“The world had been against him for five years before this case, for a murder he said he never committed and for which there is no evidence whatsoever,” Jimenez has said.

Investigators have said they believe van der Sloot killed Flores after she found something related to the Holloway case on his computer while visiting him in his hotel room. The two met while van der Sloot was in town for the poker tournament.

Judges described how Flores hit van der Sloot in the face after reading the item on Holloway, leading him to hit her in the face with his elbow. Flores fainted and van der Sloot tried to strangle her, but she was still breathing, so he suffocated her with his shirt.

Van der Sloot then tried to clean the room by removing the sheets and changing his bloodied shirt, they said.

He was caught in a taxi near the Chilean central coastal city of Vina del Mar.

Holloway’s body has not been found, and no one has been charged in relation to the case in Aruba.

About 6½ years after Holloway was last reported seen, in May 2005, she was declared legally dead.”

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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

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Peru 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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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

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Chihuahua officials seek extradition of border agent in the ’10 shooting death of teenager

May 4, 2012

El Paso Times on May 4, 2012 released the following:

“By Marisela Ortega Lozano and Aaron Bracamontes

Chihuahua’s governor on Thursday demanded that a U.S. Border Patrol agent charged with murder in Juárez in the shooting death of a teenager on the banks of the Río Grande be sent to Mexico to stand trial.

The agent’s El Paso lawyer said that will not happen.

“He is a U.S. citizen, and he was an agent of the United States Border Patrol acting in his capacity,” said lawyer Randy Ortega. “I don’t believe there is any treaty or pact that would allow him to be extradited.”

On Thursday, Chihuahua Gov. César Duarte said he wants the agent, Jesus Mesa, extradited to answer for the death of Sergio Adrián Güereca, 15.

Mesa has been charged with murder by the Chihuahua officials and faces 20 to 25 years in prison if convicted.

“From here (Juárez), we demand that the Mexican government seek extradition of border patrol agent Jesus Mesa to be prosecuted in Chihuahua,” Duarte said in a news release. “We have enough evidence to put Mesa on trial here in Chihuahua.”

On June 7, 2010, Mesa was patrolling on a bicycle along the Rio Grande when he came upon a group of boys, who included Güereca. The boys were running up a concrete spillway of the Rio Grande and touching a chain-link fence on the U.S. side.

When Mesa took one of the boys into custody, the rest of the group allegedly began to throw rocks at the agent. Mesa then fired at the group, striking Güereca twice, once fatally in the head.

The incident was recorded on a cellphone and shown on Mexican television.

“Since the U.S. often claims human-rights alleged violations against their citizens abroad, that is enough for President Obama to surrender this agent,” Duarte said.

Duarte asked Mexican Interior Department Secretary Alejandro Poiré to demand extradition of Mesa. At this point, it’s not known whether Mexico has officially asked that the U.S. government hand Mesa over to Mexican authorities.

In recent years, Mexico has extradited to the United States many Mexican citizens who were wanted on drug-smuggling, murder and other charges.

“There will be justice” for Güereca, Duarte vowed. “Chihuahua’s government is starting this fight and we are going to make justice; there is already a warrant arrest against Mesa.”

However Mesa’s lawyer, Ortega, said he does not think his client will be extradited.

“I always believed they would do this in order to gain media publicity,” Ortega said. “I think it’s more a deflection tactic.”

Mesa has been cleared of any wrongdoing by U.S. authorities, including all civil and criminal charges, and he is no longer under investigation in the U.S.

If Mexico does ask for an extradition, Ortega said, he will work with the Justice Department, but he fully expects the extradition to be dismissed.

According to Chihuahua officials in Juárez, the boy’s mother, María Guadalupe Güereca, approached Duarte during a law and safety forum in Juárez and asked him to prosecute Mesa.

“I hope you can help us,” Güereca was quoted as saying in the news release. “I don’t want money, but justice for my son. I want the agent to be punished. My son was not a smuggler at all. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.””

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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 Mexico 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.

————————————————————–

International criminal questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

           Office Locations

Email:


ANALYSIS-U.S. civilian courts await extradited militants

April 11, 2012

Chicago Tribune on April 10, 2012 released the following:

“Reuters

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) – When the Obama administration declared it wanted to put suspects involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on trial in a New York federal courtroom, cries of outrage erupted in the U.S. Congress.

Both Democrats and Republicans worried this would put New York City in the crosshairs for new al Qaeda attacks. Congress eventually passed a law forbidding the administration from trying alleged Sept. 11 conspirators, or any other militantsdetained at the U.S. military facility at Guantanamo, Cuba, in U.S. civilian courts.

But when it comes to the cases of five alleged top militants whose extradition from Britain to the United States a European human rights court approved on Tuesday, the White House will have no choice.

British and U.S. officials said the Obama administration had given ironclad assurances to Prime Minister David Cameron’s government that the five militants would be tried in the U.S. federal court system, and they would not face a potential sentence of capital punishment.

Three of the five to whom the European court ruling on Tuesday applied – Abu Hamza, Khalid al Fawwaz and Adel Bary -have all been under indictment for years in the U.S. Southern District of New York.

Law enforcement officials said that prosecutors, whose courtrooms are only blocks from the site of the World Trade Center towers downed in 2011, are prepared to try the cases if the suspects finally are extradited from Britain.

The officials noted that several notorious militants, including Ramzi Yousef, alleged mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, were prosecuted and convicted in the same courts and are now serving lengthy U.S. prison terms.

Some are being held in ultra-secure “Supermax” prisons where the European court said U.S. authorities might be entitled to jail the five extradition subjects if they are convicted.

But for political, as well as other reasons, civilian trials for alleged militants lately have been the exception rather than the rule in high-profile counter-terrorism cases.

Tuesday’s European court action appears unlikely to permanently change that – or alter President Barack Obama’s preferred approach in fighting militants, which centers on clandestine operations and lethal drone strikes.

Indeed, just last week, the Pentagon announced that the accused Sept. 11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and a handful suspected co-conspirators will be tried before a U.S. military tribunal at Guantanamo, and could face the death penalty.

1998 U.S. EMBASSY BOMBINGS

The extradition cases demonstrate how what President George W. Bush once called the “global war on terrorism” has evolved in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In fact, the cases of all the men whose extraditions the European court approved have their roots in events that took place before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Two of them, Fawwaz, a Saudi citizen, and Bary, an Egyptian, face charges in connection with 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, a case which also included the first U.S. criminal charges against Osama bin Laden. At the time of the embassy attacks, Fawwaz was alleged by investigators to be acting as one of bin Laden’s principal Western spokesmen.

The charges against the best known of the five – a former London-based preacher known as Abu Hamza – also date back before 2001. The Justice Department alleges that he was involved in a conspiracy to take hostages in connection with a 1998 attack in Yemen in which four hostages died, and also claims Abu Hamza was involved in a scheme to set up a training camp for militants in Bly, Oregon, in 1999 and 2000.

Once evidence began to accumulate after the Sept. 11 attacks, – some of it in the form of Abu Hamza’s public behavior – he was connected to Zacarias Moussaoui, a French militant linked to some of the Sept. 11 suspects, and Richard Reid, a British militant who tried to attack a U.S.-bound airliner with a bomb hidden in his shoe.

Under U.S. pressure, Abu Hamza, who has a hook for one of his hands which he said was blown off in Afghanistan, was eventually driven out of his pulpit at the Finsbury Park mosque in North London. U.S. authorities did not file charges against him until 2004.

The two other suspects whose extradition was given a green light both face trial in federal court in Connecticut for offenses that also pre-dated the Sept. 11 attacks.

Babar Ahmad and Syed Ahsan are accused by U.S. authorities of operating pro-al Qaeda websites from 1997 to 2004, and also of being in contact with a sympathetic U.S. serviceman.

All five suspects were detained in Britain for years without trial. The case of Ahmad, detained for seven years, became a cause celebre for human rights activists and some British members of Parliament.

From the point of view of U.S. counter-terrorism officials the cases surrounding the five are too dated to be relevant to their current efforts.

Still, the Obama administration would undoubtedly like to use any U.S. trials of the extradited subjects to showcase the openness and equities of the U.S. legal system.

The cutting edge of the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism policies, however, is not the criminal justice system, but the use of clandestine operations, and particularly expanding drone warfare campaigns, against militants in suspected sanctuaries in Pakistan and Yemen.

Even smooth extraditions and U.S. trials of the suspects held in London are unlikely to alter that policy.”

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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 (USA) 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.