Fact Sheet: Babar Ahmad and Extradition Act 2003
UK Extradition Act 2003
1. The new Extradition Act 2003 was fast-tracked into UK legislation in 2003 without formal consultative parliamentary process, scrutiny or debate.
2. It allows the UK to extradite any individual to the US (and other designated countries) WITHOUT the need for the US to provide prima facie evidence to support the extradition request. In other words, the accused DOES NOT have the right to challenge any evidence provided by the US in a British Court of Law.
For example, if the US seeks the extradition of ‘A’ to stand trial for a murder committed on, say 25 March 1998, in the US, the extradition will be approved as long as the US can provide some documentation alleging that it appears that ‘A’ committed a murder. ‘A’ does not have the right to challenge this ‘evidence’ before a British Judge, even if ‘A’ was in fact, on the date of the crime, admitted to a British hospital and has all the photographic evidence, medical records and doctors statements etc. to prove it.
3. The Extradition Act 2003 seriously erodes the judicial review for any individual sought by the US and allows the UK Government to approve these requests unilaterally, without allowing the individual to defend himself against any provided evidence in a UK Court of Law.
4. The UK is the only nation in the EU to agree to such a treaty with the US. Other EU nations either refuse to extradite their own citizens (e.g. France, Austria, Germany) or only extradite on assurances of immediate repatriation following conviction to serve the prison sentence (e.g. The Netherlands) or demand prima facie evidence.