When it comes to rolling back some of the worst excesses of the Blair era, the Con-Dem alliance deserves praise.
The Home Office is to announce a review of extradition arrangements, including those with the US and EU countries, especially in the light of the Gary McKinnon case. McKinnon is accused of hacking into US government computer systems and faces a possible sixty years in US jails. However, David Cameron has previously spoken to Barack Obama regarding this and argued that McKinnon's case should be heard in British court.
You see, McKinnon suffers from Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. In the light of this there are many of us who question why the US would want to extradite this man all the way to the United States.
But, under an extradition treaty negotiated between Blair and Bush, any British person for whom the United States request extradition must be extradited and Blair left no room for any British court to refuse an extradition request.
It's so typical of the 1% doctrine Blair espoused when it came to matters relating to security.
Critics have argued that the extradition arrangement with the US means British citizens are not given the same legal protection as Americans. If the US wants to extradite a Briton then it need only outline the alleged offence, the punishment oulined by law, and give an accurate description of the suspect. But British authorities have to prove an individual under suspicion has probably committed a crime.It was also typical that Blair would negotiate less rights for British citizens than for Americans, as he no doubt presumed it would be British Muslims whom he would be sending across the pond.
But the Con-Dem coalition have to be applauded for seriously reviewing yet another piece of over the top Blair legislation.
[T]he review will also look at the operation of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). Serious questions have been raised about its working after a dispute between British and German police and prosecutors over a criminal investigation into the accidental killing of a 70-year-old patient in the UK by the Nigerian-born German doctor Daniel Ubani.Long overdue.
The Home Office announcement is expected "imminently" and will place Labour's 2003 Extradition Act under the microscope after just seven years.
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