You may well be aware that there is currently an unfair and aggressively policed extradition treaty with the US which has resulted in the dubious imprisonment in the US of one British businessman and the potential imprisonment of several more. Karl Watkin isn't just talking about it, he's organising a dignified demonstration of businesses' concern (that's a march to you and me) this THURSDAY 29th JUNE AT 5pm from the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall to the Home Office in Marsham Street, a short distance away.
A letter, addressed to the Home Secretary, will be delivered that expresses the extreme unease among the business community at the UK's extradition arrangements with the US. This concern has been highlighted in particular by the case of Ian Norris, the former chief executive of Morgan Crucible plc and the possible imminent extradition of “The NatWest 3” all of which is thrown into even sharper relief by the current OFT/Department of Justice probe into alleged price fixing at BA.
The Daily Telegraph has been running a vociferous campaign highlighting the dangers for UK business people; it carries the support of the CBI, the Institute of Directors and human rights organisations, Liberty and Justice. Regrettably, the Government is currently adamant that there is no problem that needs to be addressed and is consequently refusing to make the changes to the extradition procedures they introduced. Amendments to the Extradition Act 2003 have been tabled by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Peers during the passage of the Police & Justice Bill. These would address many of the business community’s concerns. The amendments are currently opposed by the Government.
The demonstration, which will last for no more than 30-45 mins in total will take the form of a short walk from the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall through St James’s Park to the Home Office in Marsham Street SW1. The demonstration is designed to be dignified and silent. In my view it ought to be taking a detour past the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. Mind you, I suppose that's not allowed nowadays.
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