July 14, 2006


Today the Liberal Democrats won an unprecedented victory against the Government in a debate on the lopsided Extradition Treaty with the United States.

Three former employees of Nat West Bank, together with South Londoner Babar Ahmed and up to 20 more British residents, face extradition to the United States under a treaty signed in 2003 that grants fewer rights to British citizens than to Americans

Just four Labour Mps voted in favour of the treaty in the symbolic vote called by the Liberal Democrats this afternoon.

UK citizens can be extradited to the US without the United States having to make a clear "prima facie" case that they committed a crime. Yet we need to meet a much higher level of proof if we wish to extradite US citizens to the UK.

Adding insult to injury, the Government hasn't even convinced the US Senate to ratify the treaty.

The Liberal Democrats have been campaigning against this treaty for three years - ever since it was signed. We were the only party that voted against the extradition rules when they were brought into force.

But the battle isn't over; the Nat West Three, to be extradited tomorrow , are only the tip of the iceberg. Many other extradion cases are in the pipeline, and will be decided under this unfair treaty unless the Government acts now.

Thanks to today's debate and vote, the House of Commons has signalled its clear condemnation of the Extradition Treaty. Now we need you to do the same.

Please write to the Solicitor General and ask him to support my Extradition (United States of America) Bill that would repeal parts of the Extradition Act 2003 and bring an end to these unfair extradition procedures.

Mike O'Brien
House of Commons

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