UK Attorney General confirms extradition of Enron bankers to US for fraud trial

[JURIST] UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [official profile] confirmed Saturday that three British bankers charged [indictment, PDF] in the US with wire fraud in connection with the Enron scandal [JURIST news archive] will be extradited and tried in the United States consistent with the terms of the revised UK Extradition Act [text], enshrining a 2003 treaty [text, PDF; Statewatch backgrounder] aligning extradition requests between the two nations. Goldsmith asserted in a response to Conservative Party MP Dominic Grieve [party profile], who suggested the trial take place in the UK, that justice will best be served by extradition since most of the evidence is in the US and the US courts have already tried several Enron executives. Last week, Grieve wrote a letter [text] to Goldsmith in which he echoed the sentiments of many UK businesspeople by pointing to substantial differences between the US and UK legal systems, including "the shackling of defendants, difficulties with the obtaining of bail and conditions of detention." Much of the opposition to the extraditions stems from the incongruency of US and UK extradition laws - the US requires the UK to provide probable cause in order for the US to extradite a suspect, whereas the UK only requires prima facie evidence for extradition - because only the UK has so far ratified the UK-US treaty.

The three former NatWest [corporate website] bankers, David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew, and Giles Darby, must be extradited by midnight on July 17 now that the European Court of Human Rights [official website] has rejected [JURIST report] their request to stay extradition. The Herald Sun has more. From the UK, the Press Association has local coverage.

 

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