Extradition to USA | Kangs Extradition Defence Solicitors
Our team of extradition lawyers, headed by Hamraj Kang takes great pride in representing a wide variety of clients in relation to extradition proceedings before Westminster Magistrates’ Court and the High Court.
From our offices in Mayfair, our Extradition Team covers all proceedings before Westminster Magistrates’ Court and attends court hearings at short notice in circumstances where a client has been arrested and produced pursuant to an arrest warrant issued on behalf of a Requesting State.
Kangs Solicitors defends clients against extradition requests from a variety of countries whether our client is a UK National wanted by a foreign government or a non-UK National being sought by their home country. We understand that some requests can be politically motivated and will seek to defend such matters with vigour on behalf of our clients.
In this article, Hamraj Kang examines issues that are particularly relevant to extradition requests made to the UK by the United States of America (‘the USA’) and details some recent decisions of the UK courts in such extradition cases.
Recent Trends in USA Extradition Requests
A Requested Person means a person whose return to a Requesting State is sought from another State.
Whilst the USA continues to seek extradition of Requested Persons in relation to serious criminal offences, such as those involving drug importation or serious violence, a noticeable trend is the increase in extradition requests relating to ‘white collar’ and ‘regulatory’ offences.
We are seeing an increase in Requested Persons being sought by the USA for allegations such as money laundering and wire fraud.
There also appears to be an increased appetite for the USA to stretch its law enforcement powers far and wide to bring what many may argue is ‘UK based activity’ under the remit of the USA courts.
This ‘long arm jurisdiction’ has led to a number of Requested Persons, who may have considered themselves to be on the periphery of matters, finding themselves at the centre of a contested extradition case.
How Can A Request For Extradition To The USA Be Resisted?
Depending on the personal circumstances of the Requested Person, a number of arguments usually exist that can be presented to the court in attempting to resist an extradition request.
As the USA is a Category 2, Type A Territory it does not have to show a prima facie case against the Requested Person.
This means that it is not open for the Requested Person to oppose the extradition request on the basis that he/she is ‘not guilty’ of the offence (although there may be some exceptional circumstances where this may apply).
So what are the common grounds for opposing an extradition request in ‘white collar crime cases’?
- Arguably, the ‘Forum’ argument (arguing that the offences should be tried in the UK as opposed to the US) is deployed more successfully in USA extradition cases than in extradition cases to most other jurisdictions.
The Forum submission is usually detailed and multi-faceted taking into account, inter alia, matters such as the geographical location of the:
- ‘victims’ of the fraud/white collar offences,
- activity undertaken by the Requested Person,
- physical evidence in the case,
- co-suspects and co-defendants,
- prosecution witnesses.
In the case of Scott v United States  EWHC 2021 (Admin) the court found that the Forum argument alone was compelling on the basis that the ‘harm/loss’ was mostly confined to the UK, the Requested Person had no connection whatsoever to the USA and that extradition was not in the interests of justice. The background being that the SFO had discontinued its own investigation into the matter in 2016.
- Human Rights Arguments, such as the possible breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’) are often advanced in cases involving extradition to the USA. The argument usually relates to prison conditions in the USA and the strength of this submission will depend on the evidence that is available from defence expert witnesses in the USA to verify the prison conditions.
- A further Human Rights argument often advanced is the potential breach of Article 6 of ECHR, the right to a fair trial due to the prison regime that will govern the Requested Person’s time on remand in the USA awaiting trial.
This argument can be particularly relevant to white collar/fraud allegations as trial preparation will undoubtedly require suitable access to voluminous prosecution and defence case documents and electronic equipment as well as sufficient access to defence lawyers in prison.
Again, the weight of this argument will depend on the veracity of the defence expert evidence to be adduced before Westminster Magistrates’ Court or the High Court.
- The potential breach of Article 8 of the ECHR, the right to a family life, can also feature in such cases. The breach could relate to the Requested Person or another family member. In the unreported case of USA v Taylor  – Westminster Magistrates Court, the Extradition Request was discharged on the combined grounds of Forum and Article 8 arguments.
- Section 91 Extradition Act 2003 arguments can also be advanced if it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite the Requested Person on medical grounds. This was the basis that the extradition request was discharged in the case of USA v Julian Assange .
In the case of Love v United States  EWHC 172 (Admin) the Court discharged the Extradition Request on the combined grounds of Forum and section 91 arguments.
How to Contact Us | Kangs Extradition Solicitors
Our Extradition Team is available to assist clients throughout the country.
We work proactively with our clients and secure the services of the very best Extradition barristers in an effort to secure a favourable resolution for them.
We welcome new enquiries by telephone or email.
Our team of lawyers is available to meet at our offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester or, alternatively, we are happy to arrange an initial no obligation meeting via telephone or video conferencing.
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