US/UK Extradition Treaty

Discussion in 'Politics' started by StrictlyAvg, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. StrictlyAvg

    StrictlyAvg Member

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    How would the US members feel about the extradition of a US citizen who has never left the country to face charges in a UK court?
     
  2. superbot

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    If you are referring to that idiot who tapped into the Pentagon computer system then I say throw the book at him and them some!!!!
     
  3. StrictlyAvg

    StrictlyAvg Member

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    Yes that's the obvious case that brought up the question but you're UK, so whose book should be thrown at him?

    There's a whole raft of arguments about this particular case but I'm trying to gauge whether the principle of "if the boot was on the other foot" so to speak whether the US members would agree with the extradition of one of THEIR citizens when they've never set foot on UK soil.
     
    #3 StrictlyAvg, Aug 5, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  4. superbot

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    I very LARGE American book.In the States they hand out proper sentences i.e LONG.Over here he'd probably be given a £1,000 to write a play about it!! Asperges my arse!!
     
  5. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Is it any different than standing at the border of a country and lobbing bombs over to the other side? Think they might take offense to that and try to arrest the person who does it?

    I get the point of it however Parliament doesn't seem to agree. Of course Parliament these days is about as useless as a penis in Germaine Greer's bedroom... but if the UK were really outraged, wouldn't they seek to make some kind of a deal?

    FWIW, I think the penalty this guy faces here in the US is extremely harsh for what he did.
     
  6. StrictlyAvg

    StrictlyAvg Member

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    It's the asymmetry of the so-called "bilateral" agreement that bothers me most. The Statewatch organisation picked up on this years ago and despite the 2006 update little has changed

    Statewatch News online: New UK-US Extradition Treaty (Special report no 2)

    and the latest update in all its statute-speak glory - http://www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/uk-eu-usa-extradition-mutual-assistance.pdf

    But the OP is still the question that intrigues me. Would US citizens really be content to see a US citizen who has never left US soil extradited? If so under what circumstances?
     
    #6 StrictlyAvg, Aug 5, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  7. StrictlyAvg

    StrictlyAvg Member

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  8. mynameisnobody

    mynameisnobody New Member

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    You put great emphasis on what soil one is standing on when the crime is committed. This is hardly important, and it's not some new-fangled electronic thing - it's been irrelevant as long as we've had commerce.

    Consider. Someone in country A mails a bomb into country B, or ships a package full of plague bacillus cultures, or venomous reptiles, and mayhem ensues after the package arrives - we would expect courts in country B to be very interested in charging and trying him. Or perhaps he runs a financing operation in country A which funds criminal or terrorist activity in country B. It may be more benign than that, but still illegal - perhaps he is sending large political campaign contributions, in violation of country B's election laws. Extradition would obviously be appropriate in most of these cases.

    There are some cases when it would not be appropriate. An action illegal in country B but not also illegal in country A might not make the person liable for extradition to the jurisdiction of a foreign court. For instance, shipping a containerload of old Nazi memorabilia to a country where Nazi-marked artifacts are illegal would not usually be cause for extradition from the US, because selling Nazi memorabilia is not illegal in the US.

    So in the abstract, the question can only be considered superficially. The details of the alleged crime are important.
     
  9. StrictlyAvg

    StrictlyAvg Member

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    OK, you've given a few examples where you'd be relatively content to see a US citizen extradited for crimes where the citizen would not have to leave the country. That's kind of what I was looking for and others will no doubt have different views, which I'd be interested to hear.

    So what level of evidence would you expect the external country to present in order to secure that extradition? And would you also be content for that person to also be charged with crimes he wasn't extradited for while they're at it?

    In the obvious case that drove the question, the crime is analagous to someone going onto a foreign based USAF airbase by flashing a badge with a picture of mickey mouse at the guards, getting in and going to an unguarded plane, playing with a few buttons and throwing a can of paint in the cockpit, daubing some anti-US slogan on the side of the plane, then leaving, equally unchecked. As USAF airbases are officially "US soil" and the damages could be quite expensive to rectify, they could ask for an extradition based on that.
    Which is about the child's play level of security that was required to get onto the DoD network at the time...
     
  10. mynameisnobody

    mynameisnobody New Member

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    The level of security doesn't come into it.

    If I'm attacked out on the street and beaten unconscious by my assailants, they can't defend their actions in court by saying, "well, shit, if the guy [me] had a gun and had made some reasonable attempt at defense, we wouldn't have beaten him senseless." That may actually be true - but it doesn't lessen their criminal liability in the slightest.

    In your hypothetical, the perp should be fully responsible for his vandalism. If the incompetent guards should spend some time in stockade, and their CO find his career over, that may or may not be justified - but it has nothing to do with the penalty imposed on the vandal.
     
  11. StrictlyAvg

    StrictlyAvg Member

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    I'm absolutely behind that principle! There was a law passed in one state in Australia that required motorcyclists to use a suitable lock on their bikes or face a fine. Like it was their fault if their bike got nicked and they were stupid enough to leave it unattended.

    It's not like I was arguing there wasn't a crime committed - it's the nuts and bolts of what is an extraditable offence and what evidence should be presented to secure it I'm concerned with.
     
  12. Hockeytiger

    Hockeytiger Active Member

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    The question is not whether the person every set foot on the country's soil, but where the harm occured.

    As long as the destination country follows some form of real due process, and they can show that the person "harmed" the country seeking extradition, then I'm okay with it.

    However, that leaves open the question of what is "harm". But that wasn't asked.
     
  13. StrictlyAvg

    StrictlyAvg Member

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    Exactly, what constitutes sufficient harm to be considered an extraditable offence?
    And perhaps some examples where you would not object to a US citizen being extradited on the back of it?
    Are there actually any cases where a US citizen HAS been extradited to face trial in the UK without ever visiting the UK?
     
  14. Hockeytiger

    Hockeytiger Active Member

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    I'm sure there has been, though I don't know of any off the top of my head. I would suggest looking at conspiracy cases for examples.

    It is where the crime occurred that matters. If it occurs in both the US and the UK thus BOTH may prosecute for the same offense.

    Personally I have no problem sending a US citizen oversees to face prosecution as long as due process is observed there, and a crime was committed there.

    Sufficient harm isn't relevant, just any harm to be prosecutable is enough.

    If the harm was sufficient to be prosecuted in the UK, then it is sufficient to be prosecuted where he intended the harm (the US).

    If I hack into a computer located in Kansas, (I don't live in Kansas), Kansas can seek extradition because the trespass (the harm) occured in Kansas. I could also be prosecuted in my home state, in addition, as well as by the Feds. If I used a satelite owned by a Canadian firm to do it, I could be extradicted to Canada as well. ALL OF THEM (not just one of them) could prosecute me for the same offense since they are all different jurisdictions. All that seems reasonable to me.

    Where I get nervous is let's say I decide for some dumbass reason to film myself urinating on the Koran. If I put the video on the Internet, could I be prosecuted by the Saudis for it, because the video was observable in Saudi Arabia?
     
  15. StrictlyAvg

    StrictlyAvg Member

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    Sufficient harm is defined in the treaty as an offence prosecutable by 12 months or more in jail in both countries. So they couldn't subpoena anyone's ass for failing to pay a parking ticket or some dumb trivia like that.

    Likewise the Saudi example - if you joined (say) a Saudi forum to troll around expressing your most un-Islamic thoughts there wouldn't be a legal offence committed in the UK/US even if your actions caused a legal fatwa against you in the country where the "harm" was done. Remember Salman?
     
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