Rt. Hon. Scott Baker's review of Extradition - a review of the current mess, but spoiled by pathetic recommendations (apart from getting rid of the Home Secretary's role altogether)

  • Posted on
  • by
  • in

The Rt. Hon. Scott Baker's review of Extradition has now been published, (a month or so after it was promised).

Before you rush to judgement, you should actually read the full text of the review, a mere 488 pages:

You can download a (,pdf) file from the Home Office

A REVIEW OF THE UNITED KINGDOM' EXTRADITION ARRANGEMENTS(Following Written Ministerial Statement by the Secretary of State for the Home Department of 8 September 2010) Presented to the Home Secretary on 30 September 2011

The Home Office website seems to be overloaded (they really have no clue about the internet) , so if you are having difficulty with that, we have a copy mirrored here:

There are references to some of the iniquitous high profile extraditions cases e.g. Gary McKinnon, Bermingham (the NatWest3 bankers), Ian Norris, Babar Ahmad. and the extraordinary case of Farid Hilali (which Justice Scott Baker has personal involvement with).

However each of these cases is only partially cited, in order to bolster the flawed recommendations of the report and there is no proper evaluation of each of these cases merits and demerits.

Very significantly, there is no mention of the word "internet" in this document, especially when dealing with the concept of "legal forum". i.e. under which legal jurisdiction an alleged cross-border crime should be tried.

Section 6 of the report dealing with "Forum" is just utterly wrong !

Why on earth are "prosecutors" supposedly able to determine the question of "legal form" better than anyone else ? The Crown Prosecution Service has a history of incompetence, especially with any case involving the internet or, in fact, anything technological or scientific at all c.f. the utterly fictitious and non existent "Red Mercury" terrorism case involving the undercover antics of the News of the World.newspaper.

The Scott Baker report claims, possibly correctly, that there is not much narrow legal difference between the judicial standard of proof of "probable cause" and "reasonable suspicion" test between the UK and and US judicial systems.

But that misses the point entirely.

What it utterly fails to address is that under the wretched Labour government's Extradition Act 2003, there is no longer any opportunity for the UK accused to have their lawyers cross examine the alleged evidence or allegations brought against them by the US authorities. resulted in the grossly exaggerated claims of nearly 1 million dollars financial damage (the embarrassment damage to the reputation of the US military was obviously huge, but not measurable in terms of financial damage) being laughed out of court. That would have probably made the alleged crimes not even serious enough to merit Extradition in the first place.

To claim that there is no difference or inequality between USA requests for Extradition from the UK and vice versa is astonishingly perverse. If a the UK authorities want to extradite someone from the USA, they have to provide evidence which is subjected to cross examination by the defendants' lawyers. The reverse is simply not true in UK Extradition proceedings to the USA.

All the appeal court judges etc. have never been allowed to pronounce upon the admissibility or sanity of these allegations during the Extradition Act 2003 box ticking procedures, which prevent any actual consideration of the substance of the allegations or any witnesses etc. from being cross examined.

It is irrelevant whether or not Appeal Court Judges etc have been briefed on the detailed substance of the case, there has never yet been an opportunity for Gary McKinnon's lawyers to cross examine any of the evidence or witnesses against him.

The document does list various sources of oral and written evidence given to the panel, but it manages to exclude any mention of our email of evidence to the panel

Unless the Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May wants to be condemned by history as indistinguishable from her authoritarian and inept Labour predecessors, she should ignore most of the recommendations of this peculiar report, except for removing herself from any Extradition matters whatsoever and leaving that to proper UK Courts, where the accused can actually cross examine the alleged prima facie evidence against them.