Extradition of NatWest Three to the United States

Boris Johnson MP today lambasted Charles Clarke’s decision to press ahead with the extradition of the so-called Bermingham or NatWest three to the US, under the terms of the Extradition Treaty 2003, an infamy.

Commenting on the decision Mr Johnson said:

“It is an absolute disgrace that these men may now be carted off to some Texas jail without even the protection of a preliminary hearing in this country. We are not talking about international terrorists here, but British businessmen accused of defrauding a British firm. Regardless of the rights or wrongs of their case I believe those rights and wrongs should be established in a British court of justice.

We need urgently to amend the Extradition Act 2003 in such a way that it requires the United States to supply prima facie evidence to accompany any extradition request – as the UK currently has to do in relation to any extradition from the US. It is patently obvious that until such an amendment has been made to this lopsided treaty, the Government should defer approving the extradition to the United States of any British subjects”.


23 thoughts on “Extradition of NatWest Three to the United States”

  1. Hey this actually sounds interesting, please do keep us informed, I agree with your stand.

    Bytheway, do you mean Birmingham? Can you eleborate, briefly, on the details as I’ve missed this story in the press.

  2. If these three have been charged then they should go and face the music extradition or not. After all Galloway went and faced the music – and came back in one piece – more of a man then most of us. Of course these three may have something to hide. Like loads of cash in some off sure account. But no they can’t have ’cause brits would never try anything of the sort such as fraud!

    I do hope, Boris, will write something nice about Liverpool for the speci tomarrow just for the sheer hell of it.

  3. Extradition. This seems to be , in many ways, a question of one law for the them, and one for the obedient puppy, excepting for some salient cases. We will not , for example, give up that piece of unspeakable ordure,”The lesser long toenailed venom preaching hook billed vulture”. I ask ,” Why not”, and the snappy catch answer is that there is still the vague possibility of the death penalty in some, but by no means all States.At least in the USA there is still no mention of abandoning Habeus Corpus: their law is based , as ours is . on common law, so what’s the difference : here or there, guilty is guilty. We are paying for that sedition spreading vicar of vileness to be kept rent and Council Tax free.( nothing changed there then.)The only thing is we now pay less in policing his open air tirades against what must be regarded as his Alma Mater, that Milchkuh for terrorists, the good old UK. If you can’t do the time: don’t do the crime, and that goes equally for America as here. BTW Life means life there, some miscreants get several lifetime sentences, and never come out. I have almost been as guilty as Hook in ranting: sorry.

  4. Natwest three

    My heart goes out to the “Natwest three”, who have been accused of defrauding a British company in Britain, yet Charles Clarke has allowed them to be extradited to America for their alleged crime, with little or no evidence from…

  5. As a sidenote, do you think that if it was the French/Germans (or anyone else not on Tony’s cronies list for that matter) in place of America, these people would still be extradited to face an unfair trial?

    Also, nobody has mentioned the fact that the chairman of Enron, Ken Lay, was one of THE biggest contributors to Dubya’s failed campaign in 2000 (yes, he lost in the votes AND the electoral college, but his Daddy’s Buddies Supreme Court overruled the people).

  6. Another example of one rule for the U.S., and another for everyone else. Still, if people will bow down to their demands… Obviously the wigs that judges wear are to cover up the fact they have no brains!

  7. This is a disgraceful case. It is quite clear that the appropriate forum for hearing the alleged crimes of these people is here in Britain.

    Let this be a lesson to everyone who has gone along with (actively or by acquiecence) the draconian (“anti-terrorist”) legislation that this government has introduced.

  8. Big Ears obviously wants to outdo Stupid Jack and Shagger Blunkett (and, let’s be BBC and balanced, that nice Mr Howard) in authoritarian unreasonableness. *Fascist!*

    (Note to Self: steady on, the Red Veil’s coming down again, better up the meds.)

    Talking of Liverpool, I recommend that Boris familiarise himself with the song Beasley Street by Mr John Cooper Clarke of that parish. (From the long-playing record Snap, Crackle [&] Bop.) Written presciently in 1979, it contains the immortal line “Keith Joseph smiles and a baby dies in a box on Beasley Street.”

  9. More Home Office madness…from The Observer: normally this is a bit of a dumping ground for opinion pieces sympathetic to/written by New Labour (e.g. that intellectual colossus David Aaronovitch – as opposed to the awkward squaddy Nick Cohen, even if he is an acolyte of the Hitch) but there are still some excellent journalists working there. (Enough parentheses already -ed.)

    “Charity pleads for tolerance as autistic youngsters face Asbos

    Martin Bright, home affairs editor
    Sunday May 22, 2005

    Children with autism and other serious psychological conditions are being targetted by the government’s controversial anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos), according to mental health charities and professionals.
    In one case in the South West, a 15-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome, an autistic disorder, was given an Asbo which stated he was not to stare over his neighbours’ fence into their garden.

    The young man concerned had no previous criminal convictions, but if he breached the order by ‘continuing to stare’ he faced a custodial sentence…

    A British Institute for Brain Injured Children (BIBIC) spokeswoman said: ‘It appeared that the popular phrase “zero tolerance” was being taken literally and affecting their children unfairly. This is zero tolerance gone potty.’

    The National Autistic Society last night called on the Home Office to record all cases when people with serious mental disorders had been given Asbos. Campaigners believe the definition of anti-social behaviour in the relevant legislation, the 2003 Anti-Social Behaviour Act, is too vague. They argue that ‘behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress’ could describe the behaviour of many autistic people.”

    © Guardian Newspapers Limited

  10. If the official definition of the reason for the handing out of ASBOs , as was stated in K.b’s last posting,is,” Behaviour that causes , or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm, or distress,” why has there not been any movement in the direction of pork pie Prescott, whose very utterances re. the rights of the gypsies and travellers to defile the countryside with their alimentary waste products, cause more than a little angst and distress amongst the population concerned?
    The fact that there is little public understanding of autism, and its possible causes and consequences, is a running sore in this day and age. The Government with its worn out cry of Education x 3, should educate the public about this condition, in such a way that the perceived dangerous or anti-social behaviour of sufferers ,is no longer seen as a threat. Understanding a problem is half way to its solution. More public information on this condition is a necessity, for everyone’s benefit.

  11. Mac

    Exactly. This is disturbing, isn’t it, where 2 people from Left and Right actually find they fundamentally agree about an issue because they both espouse libertarian views? This leaves us with a centre-right, New Labour, which is increasingly authoritarian and ideologically incoherent (not that the Project was ever coherent for all the Third Way b****cks in the early days). NB: Asterisks adopted to avoid offence and possible Asbos being slapped on me.

    To be fair to Aaronovitch – and I don’t like being fair to a New Labour fellow-traveller – I’ve just been impressed by the level of a late night telly debate (BBC of course) on Europe between him and the feisty Janet Daley, who argues like an ex-Marxist – I’d like to see her and Boris shoot the breeze together. Perhaps I’m getting soft in my old age. (“I’m 37. I’m not old…Help, help, I’m being repressed! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!”: M. Palin as uppity ‘bloody peasant’ confronting King Arthur in Monty Python & the Holy Grail.)

    Where was I? Time for a cup of tea. Oh yes, Left and Right, living together in perfect harmony, etc.

    Absolutely agree that public education about autism – and indeed mental illness in light of the new Bill – is necessary (Department of Health’s turf so don’t hold your breath) but it ain’t sufficient. There has to be a political will to treat minorities like people with autism (and Asperger’s) decently and I’m not sure this government will adopt this unless there’s real public pressure – it might not play well in the Daily Mule if New Labour is seen to be soft on dangerous machete-wielding loonies stalking our streets in droves.

    I must differ with you over the gypsies issue as you people on the Right seem to forget that they were systemically slaughtered alonside Commies and Jews by the Nazis in the Holocaust. Howard’s campaign on this and immigration generally during the election was an utter disgrace.

    Right, I’m off to bed. Musn’t be late for work or I might get an ASBO slapped on me…

  12. Doubtless this is frightfully PC of me, but thought I’d better add gays to the Nazi hitlist above. (Shades of Brother Reg of the Judean People’s Liberation Front: ‘Life of Brian’.)

    After all, the Tory party is now intensely relaxed about people’s sexuality, n’est pas? Shame they still have hangups about the feckless poor/chavs/asylum seekers/gypsies [*insert your prejudice here].

  13. Come on, Mac, not even a nibble?

    Or have you decided not to waste a keystroke responding to such PC guff?


  14. Good morning Kevin, I can’t resist a challenge, but , at first, I hesitated as to the advisability of posting this reply since; it might have harmed some sensibilities. Now I see that it most probably won’t.

    Way back in the mists of antiquity ,there used to be a ‘drawing room ballad’ type song entitled, ” Where My Caravan Has Rested”, a rather pleasant if boring ditty. Have you ever had the misfortune to have been in close proximity to one of these places,’Where their Caravans Have Rested?” The stench hits you , right where you recently dined: you part company with your last meal,,and you retire to a safe distance. The probability of one coming across such sites is becoming increasingly frequent, since they are getting ever closer to the settled population. What does the fat controller do? He endorses this
    tendency, and gives encouragement for the perpetrators to make even more of a nuisance of themselves. By the way ‘intensely relaxed’ is , I think, an oxymoron, but I agree that there is a more relaxed atmosphere about certain
    sections of the population.And quire right too. However, as for the feckless, the poor and the others mentioned: do you think that it is right that underage children give birth to more children, at public expense,(Is that feckless enough?,whilst that same public , in form of The Government, is getting blamed for the lack of creches in junior school. Legal immigrants and genuine refugees : Willkomen ; Bienvenu ,Welcome, come and receive the milk of human kindness.
    Not so Illegal immigrants , who are so well versed in our airy fairy justice system, that even when they have exhausted every available long winded , expensive, avenue of the labyrinth which is our legal system ,( for which we pay, btw), and are then told to leave the country, they disappear into the warrens created by the criminal gangmasters; there to be preyed on by these same criminals , often themselves illegal immigrants.
    ” It’s not their fault” , I hear the woolly liberal tearjerkers cry, There are numerous examples of this sort of behaviour , which liberals are too frightened to address, for fear of appearing repressive. The rule of Law
    and order is waning. The Fall and Fall of a once great Empire is happening before our very eyes, but this time not that of Rome or even Britain;that of the rule of order and self respect. It is no wonder that the numbers of people leaving the UK for more orderly countries are on the up.
    Another rant , but I feel better now , NURSE !

  15. Now Mr Mac what are you doing out of bed again, come along now, yes yes hold still, there there I know I know I know…(Fade to black)

    This Tory obsession with smelly old gypos is second only to that with the smelly old BBC. I beg your indulgence to quote from the splendid Kathryn Flett’s review in the Observer (Obbie? a hard paper to love) of the recent BBC3 drama Summer with the Johnsons (not a flyonthewall doco about the Boris clan on their jolly hols):

    “Seeking out a ‘hood as diametrically-opposed to Wisteria Lane as possible, I found BBC3’s Summer with the Johnsons, the final film in a three-part series, Country Strife, which, according to the blurb, set out to ‘explode the myth of idyllic country living’.

    I’m not sure that many people who earn less than a seven-figure salary still fall for that bosky wisteria round the door, Pimms under the willow, cricket on the green fantasy any more, given that we know the countryside to be filled with angry, disenfranchised, suicidal farmers, angry, disenfranchised crack-addicted teenagers dreaming of bumping into Pete Doherty in Starbucks and angry, disenfranchised everybody else who can’t afford to buy a house in the village they grew up in because every wreck with a bit of mangy thatch and some knock-through potential is being stalked by Relocation’s Phil and Kirstie.

    But Summer with the Johnsons still showed us a corner of Gloucestershire unlikely to be visited by anyone not carrying an arrest warrant, a place where the scent of freshly cut hay mingles with the smell of burning rubber, and bird song is drowned out by the barking of pit-bulls.

    The Johnsons are a notorious gypsy clan who live in a raggle-taggle collection of ‘wagons’ on somebody else’s land. Jimmy is the self-styled outlaw ‘king of the gypsies’, who oversees brother Ricky, nephew Chad, Chad’s two sons Mo and Dido, plus the rest of the extended family (the women, however, were all but invisible) and barely puts up with an occasional visitor, depressive psychotic pyromaniac Martin, who tends to get dumped at the site by the police when they’ve had enough of him.

    Summer… started off as one would have expected, exploring all the cliches of gypsy life the Daily Mail classes know and fear – the pride, the crime, the cock-fighting, the hare-coursing, the bare-knuckle boxing, the generations of illiteracy (only the very youngest Johnsons have ever been to school) and the kind of wonky moral and ethical code that encourages very small children to swear and fight each other until tears before bedtime. (‘They gotta fight in this world’ explained Jimmy) but also insists they shouldn’t be exposed to Martin setting alight to his possessions and wandering around the site naked, presumably because he isn’t family.

    But of course the cliches were there to be subverted, and soon enough we learnt that Ricky was a born-again Christian, and that Jimmy was working with the Flying Squad (in return for early parole) to locate millions of pounds worth of gold snuff boxes stolen from the Rothschild’s Waddesdon Manor in a ram-raid style robbery for which the Johnsons had been arrested, though never charged.

    We also learnt that Ricky and Jimmy had been abused in a children’s home and that Chad, aside from being a ‘chicken-breeder, with a few dogs’ was something of an artist. But perhaps nothing could beat the revelation that seven-year-old Dido wanted to go to drama school. How had he heard of drama school? What did he think went on there? And could it be as much fun as being involved in a police chase, with helicopters and everything, alongside your uncle Steve?

    Of course, the subtext of this occasionally lyrical and illuminating film(…) was that the Johnsons are a bit misunderstood. Though given they’re the closest thing to the Clampetts this side of the Appalachians, I can’t see that changing any time soon, even when the next generation learn to sign their name with something other than an angry X.”

  16. Illuminating; this parable of the power of Alistair Campbell’s spin machine. Trust the writers to use names similar but subtly different from the real bit players.
    Notice how Chav is substituted by Chad, that name is evocative of all that the middle classes held dear : Chad Valley Toys. Then , of course there is Dido,(?) and you know that a man’s godda do, what a man’s godda do: Hollywood style. Fade to Little House on the Prairie.
    As for the Observer’s lovability, I am a fan of the property page , in particular the quirky
    descriptions of the houses for sale, under the rubric of Roy Brookes

  17. Mac: After our sally concerning haiku, I can see we’re going now to have a set-to about Chad Valley Toys. Let battle commence.

    You’re wrong. Wrong. Chad Valley is a proletarian brand, being the intellectual property of Woolworths (Good Ole Woolies) as far as I’m aware from my visits to the toy section with my boy in tow. Admittedly Woolies in Crouch End is frequented by the discreetly-charming bourgeois as well as chavs (chav nots). But you’re still wrong.

    Can’t remember where I read it recently (was it one of yours mac?) but I was taken by a blog description of some prog as being like The Waltons without the sex and violence.

  18. Kevin: You are referring to tne modern editions of Chad Valley. The middle classes, ( I hear) have made the older versions of CV toys as second or third in value to Steiff in the world of collectibles( and before you start, both ”
    -ible” & ” -able” are correct. As for the other thing: I’ve posted so much rubbish, that I’d have to check.
    Late for work today, are we?

  19. Natwest Three

    The Lib Dems have started a campaign about the US/UK lopsided extradition treaty. Essentially the US can extradite a UK citizen without presenting probable cause. For the innocent, this can mean a multiple year trial (as well as expensive defence)…

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