08/01/24

Extradition to the USA Avoided | Kangs Extradition Defence Solicitors

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In a previous article posted to this website entitled ‘Success in Extradition Proceedings | U.S. Extradition Defence Solicitors’, we explained how our Team, led by Senior Partner Hamraj Kang, successfully pleaded that extradition of our client Robert MacDonald, to the United States would violate his rights under article 8 of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which protects privacy and family life of individuals from government interference, with the consequence that the extradition proceedings were defeated.

In those extradition proceedings, the U.S. Government alleged that our client and co -defendant, Christopher Hamilton, were both responsible for laundering over $100 million linked to a $4 billion OneCoin cryptocurrency Ponzi fraud.

Christopher Hamilton was unsuccessful in his initial extradition hearing and was ordered to be extradited to the United States. However, he has recently successfully appealed this decision and Hamraj Kang of KANGS Solicitors comments upon these proceedings.

At first instance, Westminster Magistrates’ Court is the only court in the country which deals with Extradition Proceedings.

KANGS regularly defends clients, from our Mayfair office in London, facing extradition proceedings before Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The Team at KANGS, which offers substantial expertise in defending extradition proceedings is led by Hamraj Kang, ranked in the ‘Top Tier’ of criminal solicitors nationwide, the winner of The Legal 500 ‘Criminal, Fraud and Licensing solicitor of the year’ and one of only two solicitors in England and Wales ranked as a ‘Star Individual’ for eight consecutive years in the Chambers UK Directory for his work in the field of financial crime and fraud.

Should you require any initial advice, our Team can be contacted as follows:

Hamilton v USA | KANGS Specialist Extradition Solicitors

Christpher Hamilton, a British citizen, living in South Wales, was charged and sought by the United States Government for prosecution in the State of New York on conspiracy charges of money laundering and wire fraud related to the bogus cryptocurrency ‘OneCoin’ which incorporated elements of both illegal Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes.

The United States Government alleged Mr Hamilton is an important player within this fraudulent scheme, which resulted in at least three and a half million victims losing funds exceeding $4billion.

The United States Government sought his extradition based on the central allegation that he had used his UK-based financial services company to launder through UK banks part of the financial proceeds accumulated in the USA.

In order for the Extradition Proceedings to be successful, the US Government:

  • was required to satisfy the Extradition Act 2003,
  • being a Type A Category 2 designated country within the UK legal system was not required to show a ‘Prima Facie’ case in support of its application,
  • had to make a submission to the Secretary of State maintaining that the request was being made for purpose of prosecuting or punishing Mr Hamilton.

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court granted the extradition request on the basis that it found that the majority of fraud was committed in the United States.

The Appeal

During the proceedings before the Magistrates’ Court, it was argued on behalf of Mr Hamilton that much of the financial loss to the victims of the fraud had arisen in the UK rendering it the appropriate Jurisdiction.

This defence argument was rejected as the circumstances indicated that any prosecution of Mr Hamilton within the UK would be highly unlikely.

However, upon Appeal, on 16 November 2023, Lord Justice Sharp determined that the requested extradition should be barred upon the basis that it would not serve the interests of Justice.

This decision has attracted controversy to the extent that The City of London Police has stated ‘we are carefully considering the High Court’s Judgment’.

How Can We Help? | KANGS Extradition Solicitors

Should you require the assistance of our highly experienced Team in the defence of Extradition Proceedings we will:

  • attend, advise and guide you throughout the initial stages such as the first appearance before Westminster Magistrates’ Court including applications for bail
  • collate and examine all pertinent evidence whilst preparing your opposition to the proceedings,
  • carefully select and instruct an appropriate leading barrister according to your discrete requirements,
  • provide such on- going support as is required throughout the proceedings.

If we can be of assistance, our Extradition Team is available via:

Telephone: 0330 370 4333

Email: info@kangssolicitors.co.uk

We offer no obligation initial consultations at our offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Alternatively, discussions can be held virtually through live conferencing and telephone.

Hamraj Kang

Hamraj Kang
Senior Partner

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Helen Holder

Helen Holder
Partner

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