UK court hears Enron extradition appeal

[JURIST Europe] A UK High Court has heard an extradition appeal by three British men charged in connection with the Enron [JURIST news archive] scandal challenging the validity of the British government's approval of a US extradition request [JURIST report]. Britain had granted a US request for the extradition of three former Natwest [corporate website] bank executives, David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew, and Giles Darby, who have since appealed to the UK High Court alleging their extradition is merely to bolster US cases against other Enron defendants. All three were indicted [PDF text] in 2002 for seven counts of wire fraud in a Houston federal court. Two judges at the hearing Wednesday questioned the US government's request to extradite the thee men as their crimes appear primarily based in the UK and targeted against the Greenwich Natwest unit of the Royal Bank of Scotland instead of Enron. US prosecutors claim that the three bankers were involved in conspiring with former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow [BBC profile] in using an Enron partnership to defraud nearly $7 million from Greenwich Natwest. The action against the three British men marks the first use of the UK-US extradition treaty [PDF text]. The extradition hearing is expected to last for three days. The International Herald Tribune has more.

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