Should British Citizens ever be Extradited? Flash Animation

Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, debating with Alex Carlile on BBC Radio 5 on the 25th September 2012.

Also, in the same hour, Sean on BBC Radio London, arguing alone:

Also on BBC Radio Wales:

The question was whether British citizens should ever be extradited to face trial in other countries. This was prompted by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights not to block the extradition of several men, including Abu Hamza and Babu Ahmad, to the United States for alleged terrorism offences.

Sean argues these points:

  • That no British citizen should ever be extradited to face trial in a foreign country.
  • That it is inherently unjust to send a man to a distant place, to stand trial, often in a foreign or semi-foreign language, under different systems of law from those he understands, and usually at unreasonable expense to him.
  • That the courts of one country are often systematically biassed against citizens of another country.
  • That these points apply particularly where the courts of the United States are concerned.
  • That Babar Ahmad is accused of running websites in the United Kingdom, without having left the United Kingdom; and that his alleged crimes are to do with speech, not action; and that the American courts have given themselves jurisdiction under a shocking technicality.
  • That there are other cases of extradition to the United States which are obvious breaches of justice. These include:
  • Giles Darby, David Bermingham and Gary Mulgrew (the “NatWest Three”) extradited on charges of fraud committed in the United Kingdom
  • Ian Norris – eventually extradited on charges of price fixing that were not currently illegal in the United Kingdom
  • Richard O’Dwyer – facing extradition on charges of copyright infringement
  • Christopher Tappin – extradited on charges of breaching American sanctions against Iran, though the alleged offence was committed in the United Kingdom, and though he was entrapped by American officials who swore that no law was being broken

Sean says that, where resident aliens, such as Abu Hamza, are concerned, there should be no automatic bar to extradition. Instead, however, regard should be paid to their chance of being given a fair trial in countries like the United States. Where this chance seems remote, or they do not wish to be sent there, they should be deported to their home countries.

This is not to say that British citizens should never face trial for alleged offences committed abroad. Many Roman Law jurisdictions – for example, Germany, Austria, Russia, et al – try accused citizens in their own countries. This limited form of extraterritorial jurisdiction should be introduced into British law for the protection of British citizens from inherently unjust prosecutions in countries like the United States.

It is worth noting that Mr Carlile is a Liberal Democrat politician. He is neither a liberal nor a democrat, but is plainly in love with the New World Order, and is no friend of the ancient liberties of England.

17 thoughts on “Should British Citizens ever be Extradited?

  1. In theory I see no problem with the principle of extradition – if someone has committed a crime (i.e. what the Common Law would hold to be a crime) in another country and they have a reasonable expectation of a fair trial there – then off they should go.

    However, the Federal “justice” system (quite a few of the individual States have better systems) is basically a “conviction machine” – “they-grind-you-down-and-make-you-do-a-deal”.

    Once in the Federal system it is rare (although not unknown) for someone to walk away unscathed. Regardless of whether they have actually committed a crime.

    And American prisons (both Federal and in most States) are Hellholes – were the authorities do not have to abuse anyone (because the other inmates do it automatically) so people will admit to to a mild offence (even if they have done nothing wrong) in order to get transferred to “Club Fed” – i.e. a white collar prison where they will not be raped and otherwise abused.

    It should be remembered that the same tort law system that allows people to sue for a cup of coffee being hot – does not (not) allow cases against the government on “duty of care” grounds if the abuse has been committed by other inmates (not guards or other government employees).

    So the idea of sending anyone into the hands of the Federal “justice” system – does not strike me as a good idea.

    Of course these Islamists might like me even less than they like British government.

    I would not send them to the American Federal “justice” system – but (with my rather “feudal” notions) I would not have let them into Britain in the first place (and would kick them out). They have no loyality to the Queen (or to Britian generally) they have no business being allowed in this country to plot against it (to plot the extermination or enslavement of all nonIslamists) – and should be kicked back to where they come from.

    I could not care less about “race” or other such – but I do care about loyality, about what side someone is on. And if someone is on the side of the enemy (in this case the Islamists) they should not be allowed to come to Britain – and if they do sneak in (in order to plot the extermination or enslaverment of all nonIslamists), they should be kicked back to where they come from.

    “But Paul they would be hanged in Jordan and so on”,

    Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

  2. By the way – are these Islamists “British citizens”?

    If so how the ….. did that happen?

    They obviously have no loyality to the Queen and so should be charged with perjury (or whatever) for falsely swearing an oath of allegiance. If they even did swear an oath of allegiance.

    I am reminded of the American situation – where people waving the Mexican flag and denoucing the “crime of 1848” (as if the government of Mexico did not also want war – and did not also have expansionist plans) are described as “Americans”.

    How can they be Americans? “Well they were born in the United States – the 14th Amendment makes them automatically Americans even if they have no loyality to the United States”.

    Where these Islamists born in the United Kingdom?

    If not – why are they here?

    I repeat – if they were not born here, and have no real loyality (indeed are actively plotting against this Realm) then they have no business being here.

  3. No Englishman (call it British subject if you prefer) should ever be extradited for any reason whatsoever.If other nations lawdogs have reason to make accusations (for something that is a crime under English law–so the greeks need not bother turning up with evidence that someone has been plane-spotting) let them present their evidence in our courts.

  4. So someone can rape and kill in another country and then come back here and be safe?

    “No – the trial should be here”.

    Oh – O.K. then.

    Still does not answer the Islamist point – what are people who were not born here, and come here to further their desire to exterminate or enslave all non Islamists, doing here in the first place? Why can they not be sent home – not sent to America, sent home (sent back to where they came from).

    Or are we still pretending that anyone who is from a country that was once ruled by Britain is a “British subject” even if they would like to put a slave collar round the neck of the Queen?

  5. As far as I am aware Abu Hamza is (like the LA) a mouth fighter rather than a combatant. How much credence can be given to the Yanks claims of plans to set up terrorist camps etc ? Being caught in the US with a load of guns, volunteer mugs and timber for the building is one thing. Taliking bollocks in Arabic over the Internet is another. I don’t think anyone, even Abu Hamza, should be sent to Federal Hell for running his mouth off. Support is actually doing stuff not gum-flapping. The only reason the Federal trash (and our own) want gum-flapping to be treated as a serious crime is so they can extend that to abolish free-speech altogether and, if you get on the Daily Fail’s band-wagon about Hamza, you are helping them. Send him back where he came from and leave it at that.

  6. Just out of interest, does anyone know if it was true in the past that an Englishman could not be extradited from England?.

    I ask because, when I was a small child I read a “Saint” novel dating from the 1920’s(?) that belonged to my Dad (the book is still in the loft somewhere but my Dad is no longer with us). All I can remember about it was that :
    1- Simon Templar used that very Englishman/England line and
    2-Templar lost his shoes and socks while wading in a sewer and confiscated a pair of lemon-yellow socks from some hoodlum he had knocked out.
    Memory is a bizarre thing.

  7. As is often the case, I can find nothing to disagree with in Sean Gabb’s position as set out here (except perhaps that I prefer “biased” to “biassed”).

    Extradition is a live issue, and one which I believe will only become more significant over time. It’s particularly important to resist routine extradition to excessively powerful sovereignty-destroying entities such as the US and the EU, imo. Those of us who comment online cannot afford to regard this issue as theoretical, because we are not far from a situation in which online critics of either power will be targeted for extradition and punishment.

  8. I think one secondary point here is that it is a very foolish country indeed that places an obligation within its own law system to extradite anyone on request by a foreign power. It should always be a case that the foreign country may (of course) request that somebody be handed over, but no judge (in Britain or any other country) should find himself saying “I cannot prevent this extradition under the law”.

    Also, I agree with Paul Marks’s comments regarding the nature of the American “justice” system.

  9. The Queen seems to be upset that the man was not arrested long ago (it seems that the lady does not fancy the idea of a slave collar round her neck and a whip urging her on to harder work) – however, that still does not mean he should be sent to the United States (what have they got to do with anything, the man is not an American and I do not think he has ever been to the United States).

    Ian B.

    One case that really brought it home to me was the case of some British people physically dragged off an aircraft – a normal commercial flight that had happened to stop in the United States to refuel.

    They ran a on-line gambleing company and Harry Reid (Senate Majority Leader) does not like international competition for L.V.

    It was like British subjects had been captured by Barbary Corsairs.

    By the way – Jefferson messed up the mission to end that horror. The American attack was doing well till his effort to micro manage the war (from thousands of miles away – taking weeks to send a message, rather like Philip II trying to run the 1588 campaign from his palace in the middle of Spain) messed everything up.

    It was the France of Charles X that really dealt with the problem.

    But he gets no credit at all.

  10. Sean, an absolutely brilliant intervention, and quite right too.
    You avoided the key trap (that Paul Marks fell into) that would have been occasioned by only sticking up for freedom if the British citizens concerned were of English descent. Freedom must be indivisible, and we would be gravely mistaken to support unfreedom purely because the victims in certain cases were not of British descent.
    This reminds me of the De Menezes execution in London – where the police killed an innocent man – I remember on the train to London the next day listening with a good deal of annoyance to two ladies discussing how he was probably a Pakistani or and Arab and therefore “deserved” it. The principle of opposing extra-judicial killings has to apply to everyone – of all origins – and when it comes to freedom we cannot start withdrawing the right to liberty where we do not share the cultural or other backgrounds of the peoples being targeted.
    Operating a website, whatever the views on it, simply cannot be a real crime in any jurisdiction. What if Greece decides the LA blog breaches their laws?

    • Thanks, David. The Alex Carlile debate is rather subdued, because I’d just been got out of bed, and my brain hadn’t warmed up. The second two are rather good, though.

      Of course, our traitors-in-chief have been handing out passports as if they were home delivery pizza menus. The consequences don’t need to be discussed. But, so long as someone is a British citizen, he should have all the rights and liberties of those whose ancestors came over with Henghist and Horsa.

  11. djWebb – I did not fall into a trap.

    I did not support the sending these people to the United States – in fact I said I did not (and why I did not).

    So unless your reading is as bad as my typeing you should know that.

    As for freedom not applying to people if they were not of “English decent” – I am not of English descent myself (Marks is not an English name – and neither is “Power” the name of my mother). So your claim makes no sense – if you are saying that is what I beleve.

    As for Islamists – I could not care less whether they are of “English descent” or not.

    If someone actively plots for all non Islamists to be exterminated or enslaved, they should be hanged by the neck till they are dead. I could not care less if they are of “English dsecent” or not – there are blond haired, blue eyed Islamists.

    Of course it is for the prosectution to prove the above charge (beyond all reasonable doubt).

    Which is just as well for someone with an obviously Irish (not “English descent”) name who poses as the ulitimate Englishmen. But who his enemies allege took money from the Islamists – specfically the Islamic Republic of Sudan. What people claim about you does not matter – it is what they can prove in court that matters (at least that is my opinion).

    And, no, I would not support sending such a person to the United States..

    I do not believe in letting personal dislike influence such things and I would not hand such a person over the Federal “justice” system, when he is not a American citizen and was not even in the United States when his alledged crimes supposedly happened.

    By the way I do not believe that someone should be hanged for taking money from the Islamists – a lot of misinformed people have done that over the years (because they do not know the real agenda of the Islamists).

    “Ignorance is not a defence” – actually it is. As there has to be a “guilty mind” (intent) for there to be a real crime

    Our ultimate Englishman (with the Irish name) would have had to have known of the full agenda of the Islamists when he took the money (if he took the money) and would have had to have actively done stuff to support their cause – for there to be any crime. Something I am getting tired of pointing out.

    As for people who should not even be in the country at all – well send them home (surely there can be no disagreement about that).

    There is actually more to fear from an Islamist take over of Jordan (the power of the Monarchy is not nearly as secure as many people think) than there is to fear (or hope) that they will hang any Islamist we send back home there.

  12. Pingback: LA Director’s Bulletin, 2nd October 2012 | The Libertarian Alliance: BLOG

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