Finally, after years of campaigning, a positive outcome for those fighting for a change in the UK’s extradition treaties, both with the US and the EU. MPs have passed a motion calling for the government to reform its extradition arrangements.
Critics of the US extradition treaty say it’s a one-way street – British extradition requests must include evidence, while US warrants don’t need to. Some critics even accuse the US authorities of ‘creating crimes’ through entrapment, a practice outlawed in the UK.
Most MPs present agreed that the human rights of UK citizens needed to be better protected.
But the US government claims that despite the differences, in reality the requirements for evidence are balanced. And the US ambassador has accused some British MPs of wilfully distorting the facts.
Babar Ahmad is among those wanted by the US. He’s been imprisoned without charge for over seven years, fighting extradition for crimes allegedly committed in the UK against US interests.
Evidence against Babar Ahmad, collected in the UK, wasn’t examined by UK prosecutors, and instead sent to the US, making it impossible for him to face trial in the UK – a key demand of his supporters.
Now that MPs have agreed in favour of change, the question is: what are the implications for those already fighting extradition under the existing treaty. And will the government heed the call for British trials and British legal standards, for British citizens.