A Russian airline boss accused of a £2.3 million fraud should not be extradited because jails in her homeland are unsafe, a court heard today.
Alevtina Kalashnikova, 46, stole 212,325,636 Russian rubles by fiddling statements while working at VIM Airlines in between 2014 and 2017, prosecutors claim.
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser released Kalashnikova on bail.
Now in my previous piece about Baraitser, i highlighted that she had been the judge in the extradition case of Alexandre Djouhri who was a businessman wanted for extradition to France in connection with Sarkozy and alleged funding of Sarkozy by the Libyan government. So from this further information it looks as if Vanessa Baraitser is the extradition judge they put on cases that could be in any way politically controversial (Anything, of course, involving Russia being politically controversial given the Russiagate/Skripals/etc. situation) in order to get the result that they want.
Everyone reading this is probably already familiar with the fact that Vanessa Baraitser is the judge in Julian Assange’s extradition case and that she happens to be a particularly sadistic individual. On the 7th April she made a ruling stating that the names of Assange’s partner and children can be published in the media, forcing his fiancee to go public. Not her first decision that can be reasonably considered unfair:
Which brings us to the question: who is Vanessa Baraitser? Several people have said, that if you search for Vanessa Baraitser’s name you don’t get anything. That it has disappeared. And that there are a dearth of photographs – only one claiming to show her face, apparently. Weird. Especially for a judge in an extremely high profile case that will essentially determine the future of press freedom. Doubly weird. So who is she?
That’s all for the actual text, here’s the sources they included.
the submission was rejected because
She is probably notable through being a judge, however this article only describes two of her notable cases/decisions. Needs more details on her general notability, and biographical information such as where she studied, any awards/special achievements would be useful too.
French investigators are examining his alleged involvement in the 2008 sale of a villa in the French Alps valued at 1.3 million euros ($1.4 million) at the “inflated price” of about 10 million euros.
A Libyan investment fund managed by Bashir Saleh, the ex-chief of staff of Libya’s deposed leader Moamer Kadhafi, bought the property, and Djouhri is suspected of being its true owner, according to a London court ruling last year that ordered his extradition to France.
He is also accused of paying 500,000 euros to Sarkozy aide Claude Gueant “so that he would use his position to make various interventions to assist Mr Djouhri in his business affairs”.
This article does not mention Baraitser by name simply referring to British court.
Claimed for years by French justice, he was handed over Thursday evening to the authorities at Roissy airport from London, where he was arrested in January 2018 under European arrest warrants.
After a long legal battle, a British court had confirmed on January 22 the decision, made in February 2019 by the Westminster court [i.e. Baraitser], to hand it over to France.
So far, I haven’t been able to get to the bottom of who this woman is, and it seems no one else has either.
What I do find kinda interesting though, is the only other case she has been supposedly involved in is also a extradition case that is also very political and has possible political implications. Make of this what you will. It’s hard to know what to make of it to be honest. But I’m certain, somewhere, somewhere there is something in this whole bizarre story of the almost non-existent district judge.
You may recall, on the second post of my post on the Extradition Bill that I stated I thought one of the discussions was missing. Well I managed to get hold of it a few days ago by emailing the people at Parliament and they sent me a scanned copy of the record. This is the 5th Grand Committee Discussion & took place on 26 June 2003. having read it I do not think there is anything relevant enough that it needs to be quoted so I will just type up the notes I have written down.
Clause 17/Speciality: Discussion of a clause which allows the extraditing state to convict in cases where there is only a financial penalty and no prison time (i.e. if they had parking tickets or something). Lord Goodhart brought forward the concern that this could be used to extradite people and then impose crippling fines for political purposes but the government stated that they believed this scenario would not happen.
Conviction cases/retrials and definition of such.
Deliberately absenting oneself from trial.
Judicial discretion in conviction in absentia cases.
Amendments to Clause 21 (Human Rights as a bar to Extradition). How this process will work and ensuring presumption of innocence. Government states Human rights will be a valid bar to extradition in these cases & that the legislation incorporates Human Rights Act 1998.
Amendment specifically drawing attention to ritght to a fair trial.
Preventing extradition on national security grounds.
Role and relation of Mental Health Act 1983 & whether it should be considered, Clauses 25 &90 bar extradition in cases where the physical and mental condition of the individual would make it oppressive.
Discussed: 1) purpose clause, 2) designation of countries by affirmative resolution procedure, 3) whether part 1 should be scrapped or limited to terrorism, 4) dual criminality, 5) judicial authority, 6) accused vs. charges, 7) information in arrest warrant, 8) who makes an arrest.
Discussed: 1) giving copy of warrant to individual, 2) language of warrant, 3) if deadlines in provisional cases not met, 4) cases of arrest without warrant, 5) identity and standard of proof, 6) consent to extradition.
Discussed: 1) adjournments and when they should happen & length of time before trial, 2) adding other grounds to bar extradition based on discrimination, 3) re extradition, 4) convictions in absentia, 5) procedural rights under the European convention on Human Rights, 6) time of hearing, 7) temporary extradition for serving prisoners, 8) asylum, 9) drafting amendments, 10) post extradition 11) receipt of evidence, 12) dual criminality, 13) framework list of offenses.
Discussed: 1) sporting events, 2) EU itself as a territory, 3) various minor amendments.
We then move on to Bars to Extradition.
Lord Goodhart moved Amendment No. 221: Page 44, line 3, after “affirmative” insert “or if it appears to the judge that the accusation against the person is not made in good faith in the interests of justice
The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 221 would bring back into Part 2 of the Bill a defence to extradition that is present in the Extradition Act 1989 and all earlier Extradition Acts. The issue was raised by Liberty. The defence to be brought back is that the extradition is unjust and oppressive. Amendments Nos. 221 and 222 are based on Section 11(3)(c) of the Extradition Act 1989, which provides for the extradition to be refused if the accusation that is the subject of the charge leading to the application for extradition was not made in good faith in the interests of justice, and if the extradition would cause injustice or oppression. […]
In some such countries there is doubt about the quality of justice that will be delivered, even if those doubts are not sufficient to satisfy the courts in this country that the person would not get a fair trial. Secondly, there is hardship involved in sending someone back to face a trial, even if it is assumed that the trial will be fair, if it appears to the judge hearing the application that the accusation was not made in good faith.
Those who practise in this field have told us repeatedly over the past few months that the provision of a bar to extradition if the accusation is not made in good faith in the interests of justice has been an invaluable protection in several cases that would indeed be Part 2 cases in the future if the like arose again. In Committee, the Minister tried to argue that the provision had been dropped from the Bill because its inclusion in the 1989 Act was a remnant from the 1870 Act which, as he said, conveys the spirit of that time—revolution in many countries, suspicion and mistrust between neighbours, infrequency of international travel and so forth”.—[Official Report, 10/7/03; col. GC 107.] We are advised that there is nothing historic in the sense of the past about the need for this safeguard.
There is then a government response to these 2 speakers in favour of the amendment.
Clause 80 sets out, for the purposes of Part 2, the bars to extradition that the district judge must consider. As noble Lords will know, there are separate bars that the Secretary of State must consider. In such circumstances, the judge must decide whether extradition is barred for any of the reasons specified in the provisions. If any of the bars apply, the judge must discharge the fugitive.
If the bars do not apply, the judge must go on to consider, in accusation cases, whether there is prima facie evidence or, in conviction cases, whether the person was convicted in his absence. That is the scheme that we have. The amendments would impose an extra step in the process. After considering whether the bars applied, the judge would be obliged to consider whether the accusation against the person was made, in good faith in the interests of justice”. That is an extra layer. If the judge concluded that it had not, he would be obliged to discharge the person.
As the noble Lord indicated, the wording of the amendment is based on Section 11(3) of the Extradition Act 1989. It provides, in the context of statutory habeas corpus appeal, that extradition shall be barred, if it would be unjust or oppressive, for three reasons. One of those is the “good faith/interests of justice” test included in the amendment.
As consolidating legislation, the 1989 Act reflected the situation of 1870, when the original legislation was passed, including the diplomatic mistrust and infrequency of foreign travel that characterised the law on the subject at that time. I think that the noble Lord, Lord Filkin, made that point in Committee. The noble Baroness, Lady Anelay of St Johns, said that her view was that we had not moved on significantly since then. Respectfully, I disagree. We have moved on enormously since 1870. The sort of international travel that we have, the nature of international relations, the speed with which we communicate and our ability to work with our partners are light years away from where we were in 1870. Some of the difficulties remain, but in a different way. They can be addressed with greater efficacy and efficiency than could have been done many years ago. As consolidating legislation, the 1989 Act reflected the situation in 1870. The nature of international relations and access to foreign travel have changed significantly over the past 130 years.
The Bill contains specific human rights clauses that previous legislation did not and could not because the Human Rights Act was still nine years away in 1989 and the ECHR was drafted more than 80 years after the 1870 Act. It is not surprising that those differences exist. The Bill also contains bars against extradition for extraneous reasons—for example, prosecution, punishment or prejudice at trial on the basis of a person’s race, religion, nationality or political opinions. Those, along with the other protections against unjust extradition—double jeopardy, in absentia, death penalty, speciality et cetera—provide significant and sufficient safeguards for the individual, without the need for a general discretion for the judge. It is clear what decisions are to be taken and on what grounds they are to be based.
The danger of reintroducing that kind of provision is that delays, which we are seeking to minimise under the new system, would be perpetuated by lengthy and possibly opportunistic legal arguments about good faith and the interests of justice. If fugitives and their lawyers are given additional grounds on which to challenge extradition, experience of the current system demonstrates that they will take every opportunity to make use of them. They should have proper opportunity to do so. We think that the Bill allows proper opportunity on proper grounds for those issues to be properly explored.
In particular, there is a worry that people will seek to allege, not that a particular country has an unsatisfactory criminal justice system, but that a particular judge is corrupt or has made the request for improper reasons. That could lead to endless legal challenges and arguments. As drafted, the Bill contains sufficient safeguards to deal with the situation.
In Grand Committee, the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, mentioned the speech made by Paul Garlick QC. Some interesting remarks were made, but I found the conclusion of Mr Garlick’s speech particularly interesting. It is worth reminding your Lordships of what Paul Garlick said: Supposing the judge (i.e. the District Judge at the extradition hearing) is satisfied that the accusation made against the fugitive is not made in good faith against the interests of justice, but for some other ulterior motive held by a potential prosecution witness or scurrilous prosecutor (perhaps seeking re-election or favour from his superiors). In those circumstances, does the judge have no power to stop the proceedings? If that is the case then, under the new regime proposed by the extradition Bill, the High Court would have no power to correct the position as its jurisdiction on appeal is limited to reviewing whether the judge should have answered one of the questions posed to him in a different way. Can it seriously be said that the High Court has no power to discharge a fugitive where it is plain that the accusation has been made in bad faith? Of course not, such a result would bring the whole extradition process into disrepute”. In other words, Mr Garlick is confident that, even with the present drafting of the Bill, the courts would be able to act to prevent extradition in cases where the request had been made in bad faith. That goes to the very heart of the amendment. I therefore hope that your Lordships will be persuaded that these amendments are not necessary. Nevertheless, some of your Lordships might accept that, but still think that there would be no great harm in making them anyway.
However, the amendments would have very real disadvantages. A broad, apparently open-ended provision of this kind would invite fugitives to seek to invoke it in just about every case. We fear that there would be endless litigation on this point. I apologise for having spoken even now at such length, but we needed to encompass some of those issues. I shall be very happy to place an even fuller response in the Library if noble Lords think that that would be helpful.
Then discussed: 1) UK/US discrepancy in the provision of prima facie evidence, 2)conviction in absentia, ) time limit on Secretary of state making decision, 4) death penalty assurances, 5) life w/o parole.
Discussed: 1) withdrawing consent in death penalty cases, 2) competing requests, 4) counsel in Scotland, 4) computer information, 5) more Scotland stuff, 6) extradition under international conventions, 7) ad hoc requests, 8) compatibility with Crime International Co-Operation Act, 9) annual report, 10) amendments to keep legislation updated, 11) cases already in progress.
You have to click through on this one. Discusses a few amendments 1) language of the bill on part 1 warrants, 2) conviction/retrial 3) evidence around extradition & European convention on human rights, 4)dual criminality & framework list
This bill is about European legislation and crime (from the looks of it). It has provisions regarding co-operation on evidence etc. It says that this bill just deals with evidence and some forms of harmonisation and that extradition issues are not under the scope of this bill. References to extradition in the debate (from a search for extradition) relate to this aspect and also how the US is treated as an extradition partner in general. Also issues related to EU harmonisation.
There is a summary. And then more stuff on the EU/dual criminality/harmonisation of law issue. Up to the halfway point of this discussion, there seems to be nothing about political offenses or politically motivated extradition.
Lord Stoddart of Swindon does mention the usage of 9/11 to push forward and anti-terrorism agenda that violates civil liberties, but again, it is in the context of the European arrest warrant, not part 2 extradition.
There’s a quote on political offenses further down, but it is in the context of the EU warrant:
I am glad that, after all, an exception will be made for political offences, such as when the French refused to extradite David Shayler. The EAW does not require removal of this exception.
She also expresses some concern about whether the UK-US Extradition treaty will introduce standards in the with those on the EAW despite the fact the US has the death penalty as well as other concerns.
In particular, we need it as regards what evidence we would insist on before extradition, how watertight the guarantees are against the death penalty, whether our obligations to surrender war crimes suspects and human rights abusers to the International Criminal Court would be compromised, and whether we would extradite people to be interned without trial in legal limbo in Guantanamo Bay or to face military tribunal.
The early finding seems to be that the UK Government want the US wish to be put on the same footing as our EU partners as regards ease of extradition to be acknowledged. However, that begs the question whether we can have the necessary degree of trust in the fairness and integrity of their justice systems […]
We also need an amendment to Part 2 to provide that extradition should be banned if it appears that it would be unjust or oppressive to return the person. I hope that such an amendment will be made. That would reflect the Extradition Act 1989. It surely is a traditional practice to which we should stick.
On the question asked by the noble Baroness, Lady Ludford, regarding the USA, we have no intention to put the USA in Part 1. In fact, Clause 1(3) now makes that impossible. She also asked about Guantanamo Bay. No one has been transferred or extradited from the UK to Guantanamo Bay. If we received a request under the Bill for someone’s extradition to a detention camp, it is likely that a judge would consider under Clause 21 whether he felt that that met ECHR provisions. I say no more on that subject.
The vasy majority of this debate was again consumed with issues relating to the European arrest warrant, with very little even referring to problems with extradition to category 2 countries, as most of the people who spoke seem to accept at least broadly the legislation on that particular point.
This is teh first part of the Grand Committee discussion of the bill. It covers 1) purpose of the legislation, 2) amendments relating to country designation, 3) nature of European arrest warrant and classification of offenses, 4) ensuring a death penalty state cannot be in cat. 1 5) Further limitations on cat. 1 states, 6) discrimination and granting bail, 7) not allowing EU as an institution to be classified as cat.1.
There is nothing in the whole discussion about political offenses, and the only mentions of terrorism come from a discussion about the difficulty of distinguishing terrorism from other offenses (e.g. Robbery to fund terrorism).
Part 2 of the Grand Committee Report. Discussed here are amendments relating to 1) Dual Criminality, 2) issuing authorities of Part 1 warrant, 3) issue of language of warrant, 4)Ensuring extradition is only for trial, 5) clear statements of offenses, 6) more on issuing authorities, 7) ensuring judicial investigation for a valid warrant, 8) authorities in UK that can certify warrants.
The only mentions of anything related to political offenses:
In most extradition cases, it would be little more than a formality to identify those cases where there was a concern about the legitimacy of the extradition—for example, if extradition should be barred on account of political prosecution under the extraneous considerations provisions. It is similar to a “tick box” exercise.
Part 3 of the Grand Committee Report. This covers 1) dealing with pre-existing cases in Schengen area, 20 EU/US Agreements and impact on the bill, 3) Warrants for questioning, 4) Foreign police officers and definition of ‘constable’, 5) ensuring the accused sees a warrant, 6) language, 7) time before being brought into court, 8) another time limit amendment, 9) grounds for provisional warrant, 10) more provisional warrant discussions and what will be on a warrant.
Part 4 of the Grand Committee meeting. Discusses 1) drafting of the bill around discharge, 2) identity of individual arrested, 3) bail, 4) legal advice/consent, 5) whether consent to extradition can be withdrawn, 6) timings of hearings, 7) delays and avoiding indefinite detention, 8) Initial stage of hearing and lack of a prima facie case, 9) bars to extradition and provable innocence, 10) territorial bar if part of offense committed in UK, 11) double jeopardy, 12) discrimination – race religion, political opinion, 13) Clause 13/Dual criminality, 14) passage of time.
Mention in passing regarding an amendment to the above bill.
I want to note at this point, that it appears to me that there is a Grand Committee discussion missing from the record. The reason I say this is the previous grand committee discussion left off at Clause 16 of the Bill (the 19th June Discussion, see above) whereas the next discussion (on the 1st July, see below) begins with a discussion of Clause 40. So there appears no discussion of clauses 17-39 in this record. I have contacted Hansard about this because I cannot find it.
Discussed in this part of the grand committee meeting: 1) withdrawal of extradition warrants, 2)time scales for withdrawal, 3) Clause 43, 4) Temporary extradition of serving prisoner, 5) specifying judicial authority, 6)notifications in cases of a secnd request, 8) compensation, 9) Clause 61 & Scotland, 10) how documents sent to the UK, 11) repatriation to serve sentence in a different jurisdiction, 12) dual criminality, 13) clarification regarding cat. 1 territories, 14) guaranteeing no extradition if conduct took place in UK e.g UK citizen doing holocaust denial in the UK won’t be extradited to Germany, 15) length of prison term for extraditable offenses and dual criminality, 16) clarification on “however it is described in that law” 17) fiscal offenses 18) state/sovereign immunity of extradition requests for torture/war crimes, 19) authority of warrant.
Next part of Grand Committee discussion about 1)Eu framework list of offenses and racism and xenophobia; 2) extradition for injury/death during sporting competition, 3) who is an appropriate judge, 4) Clause 68, which countries are included as part 2 countries, 5) Secretary of State and their role in requests, 6)Designation of countries and removal of prima facie evidence, 7) customs officers and arrest, 8) time periods of provisional arrest in part 2 cases, 9) time limits on when extradition hearings start.
The first part of this discussion concerns bars to extradition.
Lord Goodhart, put forth an amendment to create a bar for extradition based on ‘injustice and oppression’ (you may remember from the first part that this was also tabled in the House of Commons by the Liberal Democrats).
Lord Goodhart moved Amendment No. 191 [to Clause 78]:
Page 42, line 36, leave out paragraph (c) and insert— (c) injustice and oppression;
The noble Lord said: The purpose of the amendments is to bring back into Part 2 of the Bill a defence to extradition that is present in the Extradition Act 1989 and was present, as I understand it, in all earlier extradition Acts. The issue was raised by the organisation Liberty, and the defence that is to be brought back is that the extradition is unjust and oppressive.
Amendments Nos. 191 and 194 are based on Section 11(3)(c) of the 1989 Act, which provides for extradition to be refused, if the accusation that is the subject of the charge leading to the application for extradition was not made, in good faith in the interests of justice”, and if the extradition would cause injustice and oppression. We are, of course, dealing with Part 2 of the Bill; Part 1 is based on the assumption that we can trust the legal systems of the category 1 states. There is no such assumption in relation to category 2 states. […]
Without the amendment, the judge will not be able to refuse extradition, and the case would have to go for a decision by the Home Secretary. If the judge is satisfied, after hearing the evidence, that the accusation was not made in good faith, he should be able to refuse extradition. In the Commons, the Government said that the judge could reach such a conclusion on human rights grounds, relying on Clause 86. I believe that that is not true, arid that is how I am advised by experts on extradition.The European Convention on Human Rights would apply only if the court hearing the extradition application believed that the person would not get a fair trial. That is a different question. If the court believes that the accusation was not made in good faith, it should be able to discharge the person, whether or not it believes that that person will get a fair trial, without having to send him or her back by making an extradition order subject to the final decision of the Home Secretary.
Other Lords then speak up in defense of the amendment.
the response to this amendment is then outlined by Lord Filkin:
The amendment gives the Committee a good opportunity to test, in a sense, whether the protections that we have put into the Bill are, as we believe, full and adequate. I shall start by giving an overarching view. The way that we have constructed the protections—all members of the Committee recognise that they are important—is different from the way in which they were constructed for the 1989 Act. […]
In this part of the Bill, the protections relate to the double jeopardy test, the extraneous considerations, the passage of time and hostage-taking considerations. The extraneous considerations are particularly important in this regard. As the noble Lord, Lord Carlisle of Bucklow, suggested, they cover a situation in which a request has been made for improper motives or a trial may be prejudiced for those reasons. They are added to the further provisions concerning convictions in absentia, the death penalty, speciality and, in particular, as the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, signalled, ECHR compliance in terms of the right to a fair trial. That adds up to a substantial package of protection for the individual against any form of illegitimate extradition.
Lord Filkin [my emphasis]
He rejects the basis for an amendment based on the idea that that language is outdated [it is in the 1989 act – which ultimately was derived from the 1870 Act) and that the provision is too general.
The current Bill does not approach those matters in the same way. It is clear to the judge what decision he is to take and the factors on which he is to base it. It is clear to him that extradition should be barred in specified circumstances but not in others. The bars and protections provide significant and appropriate protection against any abuse of the extradition process. As they are set out in such detail and with clarity, there is no need for a general, catch-all provision.
I should draw attention to two provisions in the Bill, both of which I have already touched on. The first is Clause 80, which provides that extradition is barred, if the extradition request has been made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing the person on the grounds of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions, or if he will be prejudiced at his trial for those reasons. Those are strong safeguards—necessarily so. Then, there is Clause 86, which prevents extradition if it would be contrary to the person’s human rights. At an earlier stage of our proceedings, my noble friend Lady Scotland of Asthal read the details verbatim. I shall not repeat them now. […]
We cannot easily see what circumstances the amendments would deal with that are not already covered by the Bill. In other words, given the protections in the Bill, is there any chink in the armour? […]
At an earlier stage, we considered examples of countries, such as Singapore and Malaysia—perhaps I should not mention them—that might seek to abuse the extradition system to deal with political opponents of the current regime. Such cases would fall foul of Clause 80, as such requests would be politically motivated.Extradition would not be possible. If a judge in a requesting state had a personal animus against a person and sought to use the extradition process to take him back, there would be significant doubt as to whether that person, if extradited, would experience a fair trial. That, again, would be caught by the ECHR provision.
Lord Filkin [my emphasis]
Lord Clinton-Davis said in response:
Words might perhaps be included under paragraph (b), referring to, extraneous considerations including injustice and oppression”. The words “injustice and oppression” are highly significant.
Lord Goodhart also responded to the statement by Lord Filkin thus:
I am grateful to the Minister for giving a thoughtful reply to the amendment. However, I cannot accept his answer. This is certainly a point that concerns the experts on extradition. I am not an expert—it was never part of my practice at the Bar—but I know that Clive Nicholls feels strongly on the matter. […]
If one could be absolutely certain that the defendant would receive a fair trial, there would be something to be said for stating that the accusation looked unfounded and not made in good faith. […]
The problem is twofold, however. First, in the case of some category 2 countries, there must be doubt about the quality of justice that will be delivered at the other end, even if those doubts are not sufficient to satisfy the courts that the person would not get a fair trial. Secondly, there is a hardship involved in someone being sent back to face a trial, even if it is assumed that the trial will be fair, if it appears to the judge hearing the application that there will be injustice and oppression and that the accusation is not made in good faith. There are significant advantages in allowing that defence to be raised. […]
The matter of injustice and oppression is just as much a legitimate extraneous consideration as those that the court must already consider. The issue will require further discussion. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
The next discussion is about Clause 80, (extraneous considerations).
Lord Carlisle raised this point:
I raised the question whether “extraneous considerations” might cover the point made, in the earlier debate. Surely the Minister, having seen the definition of “extraneous considerations”, which is limited using the specific terms in the clause, would have to agree that the words “injustice and oppression” would go much wider and would deal with circumstances other than those arising from, race, religion, nationality or political opinions”.
As I signalled when we had the discussion on the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, I am seeking to set out a broad approach. I want to put in place specific bars to extradition without opening up the legislation to the defects that we have experienced with the current Act. We have already agreed to extend the clause to add on gender and sexual orientation as further measures, as a result of some good representations made at an earlier point.
In good faith, I believe that the Committee generally recognises that we do not want to go in a circle and come back to where we are, with the current defects of the system. We all share a view that the Bill should have adequate protections. Without wanting to trail a coat too adventurously, I was signalling that I was open to specific examples of where the Bill as currently drafted would not provide adequate protection. That was a genuine statement, and I am sure that there will be ways of communicating on that matter in the summer, so that we can consider it. I implied that if we were convinced that there was a hole in the legislation, we would investigate it, but that if we were not, we would not, for the reasons I gave.
The next issues discussed are 1) evidence in summary form, 2) uncorroborated evidence and Scotland, 3) life without parole, 4) removing consent to extradition if death penalty could be imposed, 5) Competing requests, 6) Scottish definition of counsel 7) waivers of specialty and sec of state consideration of such.
We now appear to have reached the part of the bill that is about extradition to the UK.
The rest of this discussion covers that and police powers.
Whether they consider that the judicial and administrative authorities of the United Kingdom will be entitled to refuse to sanction the extradition of individuals to the United States, under the new United States-United Kingdom Extradition Treaty, in the event that extradition would be incompatible with United Kingdom constitutional principles or with the rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, or the common law; and [HL3845]
Whether they will ensure that no-one is extradited from the United Kingdom to the United States, or any place over which the United States exercises effective control, under the new bilateral and European Extradition Treaties with the United States, to face a trial before a special military commission or other court or tribunal that does not comply with the requirements of fairness contained in the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights. [HL3858]
Lord Lester of Herne Hill
Extradition to the United States will in future be governed by Part 2 of the Extradition Bill, if it is enacted.
The Extradition Bill sets out clearly the circumstances in which extradition cannot take place. One of the bars to extradition—contained in Clause 86 of the Bill—provides that extradition cannot take place where it would be incompatible with the ECHR rights of the person.
With regard to the Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements between the European Union and the United States, what steps they are taking to ensure that the assurances given orally to Sub-Committee E of the European Union Committee by Bob Ainsworth MP on 4 June, recorded in a letter to the Minister dated 12 June, and concerning compliance with the European Court of Human Rights, non-imposition of the death penalty; no substitution of a capital charge; trial before an ordinary federal or state court, and not before a military tribunal; and no mutual assistance except where an investigation is in progress and the requesting authority has criminal competence, are made known to those facing extradition pursuant to the Extradition Agreement or otherwise likely to be affected by either of the Extradition or Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements. [HL4062]
Lord Scott of Foscote
The assurances given by my honourable friend, the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office, Bob Ainsworth, on 4 June 2003, as recorded in the letter to him from the noble Lord, Lord Grenfell, of 12 June, are a matter of public record.
The Extradition Bill, currently before Parliament, is consistent with the assurances by guaranteeing that there will be no extradition where there is a possibility of the death penalty being carried out, and no extradition where it would breach the European Convention on Human Rights.
Discussion covers: 1) entry, search of premises, 2) PACE protections under the bill, 3) codes of practice, 4) codes of practice (Scotland), 5) British overseas territories, 6) Competing claims of extradition, 7) legal advice, 8) re-extradition, 9) role of Crown Prosecution Service, 10) Lord Advocates/Crown solicitor, 11) Extradition to neither Cat1 or 2 territory, 12) bail Scotland, 13) extradition for more than one offense, 14) extradition contrary to national security, 15) provision of existing claims etc. 16) Compatibility with Crime Int’l Co-op act, 17) annual report 18) avoid retrograde powers to extradite, 19) designation of territories w/ specified modifications, 20) Scotland.
Nothing on Political offenses, etc.
As this is the end of the Grand Committee Discussion I will split this document here and put the rest in part 3.
Here are the links to the parts of my research on the Extradition Act 2003. This research will cover all documents from this list from the ‘Anti Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill’ to the bottom of the page:
Craig Murray, independent journalist, has asked for help regarding research on the Extradition Act 2003. This is in order to assess a claim made by the judge Vanessa Baraitser that the intention of parliament was to allow extradition based on political offenses, given that there is no explicit clause in the Act barring political extradition.
I therefore need people to read through all the Hansards of debates on the 2003 Extradition Act, both in the Commons and the Lords, to see what was said about extradition for political offences, and particular if any distinction was made between terrorists and peaceful political offenders, and whether ministers gave any reassurances.
I decided to take on this task because if there’s a chance that it will uncover something that will help Julian then it’s worth it to me. I decided to post my research up here so everyone can see it because that is the best approach.
So Craig Murray has appealed to people to help with the Assange case, and one of the things he has suggested as a helpful activity is reading through the Hansard [record of what went on in Parliament, for those that are unaware] annals in order to find out what was said about the 2003 extradition act, due to certain arguments that were made by the judge.
Normally neither arguments about the intention of parliament, nor quotes from Hansard debates, are taken into consideration by English courts. With few exceptions, rulings have been that the legislation must be read on its face. But here, Baraitser has herself quoted the intention of parliament – using that very word – to justify dismissing the defence argument. It must therefore be legitimate to introduce evidence on the intention of parliament, if the judge is going to rely on the concept.
I therefore need people to read through all the Hansards of debates on the 2003 Extradition Act, both in the Commons and the Lords, to see what was said about extradition for political offences, and particular if any distinction was made between terrorists and peaceful political offenders, and whether ministers gave any reassurances. Apart from the debates, there may be parliamentary questions in Hansard on the same topic.
This is the perfect job for someone like myself – intelligent and with a load of time on my hands right now. Julia o’Dwyer helpfully linked this list of discussions and questions.
So I am going to start going through the links and will be updating Craig Murray with the results of this research as well. Hopefully even though I only have a small audience we can get any relevant research passed on to the right people. This page will repeatedly be updated & has been pinned.
NOTE: I am adding this at the front for clarity. This bill apparently had sections part 1 and 2/category one and two. For avoidance of any confusion, a category one extradition appears to refer to any extradition requested by an EU country under the European arrest warrant whereas a category two would be an extradition to a non-EU country. While the first one of these has no relevance to Julian’s case it may still be referenced in the below record and quotations.
This is the first debate of relevance to this discussion. All others predate the New Labour Government.
At this point, the Extradition Bill had not yet been introduced, but the Extradition bill is hyperlinked as a future Extradition bill is mentioned by Blunkett as a bill that will resolve some of the issues being discussed. This bill is anti-terrorism legislation discussed in the wake of 9/11 and contains some discussion on extradition (for terrorism) and also, if an individual cannot be extradited (because of the death penalty) but cannot be tried, whether or not they can be kept in indefinite detention by the Home secretary, who decides, and whether this measure is too draconian. As far as I can tell there is no mention here of extradition for peaceful political dissidents, as the focus was mainly on what would happen if an individual could not be extradited and thus according to the Home Sec. had to be detained.
This discussion on Home affairs, after Control + F, the first reference to extradition is about the responsibility for the forthcoming bill. A Mr. John Maples then decides he wishes to talk about the Extradition bill during this discussion. He has concerns about the bill removing protections for individuals & also protecting British politicians from being extradited to another country on suspicion of war crimes in Kosovo.
Both of these documents from a scan read Control +f seem to be a discussion of general government crime policy and new bills on the issue, and mentions of the Extradition bill here do not seem to have major relevance, being limited to referencing the European arrest warrant.
Vote on second reading of the bill in the House of Commons. I have read in full.
The introductory remarks here are made by John Denham, Minister for policing (not the Home Sec. who was apparently indisposed). They stress the importance of streamlining the extradition process and also reducing the number of frivolous appeals that an individual can make.
He states that the Extradition law was reviewed in 2000 with a consultation paper in March 2001. His opening comments state that:
We published a draft Bill in June this year and again received many helpful comments. I particularly welcome the interest that the Home Affairs Committee and the Joint Committee on Human Rights have shown, and I pay tribute to my hon. Friends the Members for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) and for Bristol, East (Jean Corston), who chair those Committees. We have also heeded what those Committees said, and a number of additional safeguards in relation to politically motivated requests and fugitives’ state of health have been built in to the Bill as a consequence.
Now clearly this must mean that there were concerns expressed in these committees about politically motivated extradition.
He also states that the consultations that he was allowed to publish are situated in the House of Commons Library.
Now, it seems that the first concern raised in this discussion is about the European Arrest Warrant and its relation to British law. The below quote from Mr. Denham is in that context, not in the context of US Extradition, but I will note it anyway:
The European arrest warrant will have all those clear benefits for the United Kingdom and our criminal justice system, but there will also be strong safeguards for fugitives—an extradition hearing before a district judge, the right of appeal to the High Court and, if important points of law are raised, to the House of Lords. Extradition can be barred because of double jeopardy, and will not be possible if the fugitive’s mental or physical condition makes it unjust to extradite him; if there is reason to believe the prosecution is politically motivated; if the fugitive’s trial is likely to be prejudiced by extraneous factors; or if the fugitive’s rights under the European convention on human rights would be breached. All the states that we are talking about are mature democracies and ECHR signatories, so it is highly unlikely that some of those bars will ever arise.
There is some further references to Europe, followed by this statement, which refers to part 2 of the legislation (extradition outside of the EU):
We have also incorporated significant safeguards from part 1.
No one will be extradited if their mental or physical condition would make that unjust or oppressive. No one will be extradited if a request has been made for the purpose of persecuting the fugitive on the grounds of race, religion or political opinions, or if those factors mean that he is liable to be prejudiced at his trial. No one will be extradited if double jeopardy comes into play, or if the person is below the age of criminal responsibility in this country.
The discussion continues about issues like double jeopardy and the relation of EU law to British law.
Then, an individual called Mr. John Burnett raises his concerns about the bill:
My problem with the Bill is that it [makes extradition easier] by jettisoning some established protections for individuals and watering down many other safeguards.
Mr. John Burnett
Currently, the law provides some crucial protections. […] The offence for which extradition is requested should not be of a political character. Existing law tells us that extradition is not allowed if its purpose is to secure the prosecution of a fugitive on account of his or her race, faith, nationality or political opinions or if he or she might be denied a fair trial for those reasons.
Mr. John Burnett
In response, Mr. Bob Ainsworth states:
The hon. Gentleman claims that other safeguards will be removed, but surely he recognises that the proposals in the Bill do not change anything to do with extradition to countries with the death penalty or with the bar relating to politically motivated prosecutions.
There’s some discussion about the death penalty and US extradition in general and making the process faster. Then a long section about EU law. (and I mean long)
The next part of relevance may be the long interjection by Harry Cohen, beginning at Column 100. He talks about the human rights violations at Guantanamo regarding extradition to the US, and that he is opposed to getting rid of the political offenses exemption.
For example, some of those who fought against apartheid in South Africa committed criminal offences, and some of the people resisting the Zimbabwean regime now may be committing criminal offences. However, they probably had, or have, a political motive and reasons that we would otherwise support for doing so. The defence is still needed, although I accept that there must be a balance between consideration of the criminal act and someone’s political motivation. I do not favour getting rid of the political offence exception altogether.
Mr. Harry Cohen
Near the conclusion of the debate Mr. Ainsworth again stresses that:
The Bill will ensure that no one can be extradited where the request is politically motivated, where the double jeopardy rule applies or where the fugitive’s medical condition—an issue raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Leyton and Wanstead (Harry Cohen)—would make it unjust. On conviction in absentia cases, we will extradite only where the fugitive can be sure of a retrial. We will not extradite unless we are certain that the death penalty will not be carried out. Finally and very importantly, extradition cannot take place where it would be incompatible with the fugitive’s human rights.
and the following:
The Bill contains clear safeguards on the death penalty, on whether people will be extradited to face execution, on whether people could be extradited in contravention of their human rights, and on whether people could be extradited for reasons of their political opinions. The right hon. Member for West Dorset (Mr. Letwin) shakes his head. I know from his opening speech that he has read the Bill, so I refer him to clause 13 on extraneous considerations, under which extradition will not be allowed of people being prosecuted or punished for crimes that are accounted for by their race, religion, nationality or political opinions. Extradition is specifically barred when those cases apply, and it is specifically barred in category 1 and category 2 when a death sentence might be carried out. It is specifically barred, too, under clause 21, when a person’s human rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European convention on human rights would not be fully protected.
and the following:
As the right hon. Gentleman knows, clause 13 contains a bar on extradition. It does not say that there may be a bar, because it is clear that there will be a bar on extradition on the ground of race, religion, nationality or political opinions”. That point is quite definite. It is in our law and applies to our citizens. […] A British judge will sit in a court and consider the case. If he considers that it involves issues concerning a person’s political opinion, he will not issue an arrest warrant.
Having reached the end of this debate, it is clear that the main concerns of individuals disputing the Bill in the House of Commons were concerned with Part 1 extraditions (under the European Arrest warrant) rather than Part 2 extraditions (other countries outside the EU) and that Part 1 eliminated safeguards such as dual criminality. Thus politically motivated extraditions were not a major part of this debate. Nevertheless I have highlighted and clipped relevant sections. The bill was voted on to be given a second reading.
The first amendment raised here is one about the passage of time and how that affects extradition claims. However, we also see a discussion about an amendment posed by the Liberal Democrats called ‘Injustice and Oppression’. It should be noted that this amendment was voted down (see below). However let’s have a look at the text and any discussion surrounding it:
New clause 19—Injustice and oppression— ‘.—A person’s extradition to a category 2 territory is barred if it appears that because the accusation against him is not made in good faith in the interests of justice it would, having regard to all the circumstances, be unjust or oppressive to return him.’.
Text of proposed amendment.
Mr. Ainsworth then says the following in relation to this amendment:
I shall now deal with Liberal Democrat new clause 19 and consequential amendment No. 91, which would add a further specific bar to extradition. I support the motives behind the amendments: we should not countenance extradition in circumstances in which it would be unjust or oppressive because the accusation ha .s not been made in good faith. However, the Bill requires no such enhancement. The bars already included in part 2, under clause 78, cover double jeopardy, extraneous considerations, passage of time and hostage taking. It is important also to remember that the whole Bill has the protections of the European convention on human rights firmly enshrined in it.
Clause 80, “Extraneous considerations”, specifically covers where the request has been made for the purpose of punishing the person on the grounds of
race, religion, nationality or political opinions. Extradition is barred if a person would be prejudiced at trial or have his liberty restricted for any of those reasons. I do not believe that any additional requirement is necessary, and there is a risk that the amendments would be counterproductive. Their language is so subjective that they would present fugitives with a golden opportunity to block and frustrate the extradition process by creating additional grounds for appeal.
So, Mr. Ainsworth’s argument is not that such extraditions should happen, but that any further protection through amendment is unnecessary.
A Mr. Hawkins then has this to say about the clause 19:
New clause 19, tabled by the Liberal Democrats, offers another sort of safeguard in these matters. Although our new clause 6 was not selected for debate, the issue remains important. I am sure that many people in another place with senior experience in government or in the law will share our concerns. We understand what the Liberal Democrats are doing with new clause 19, and in general we share their concerns. New clause 19 could be a helpful further safeguard. In the future, if a far-left or fundamentalist Government were to take power in Turkey, say—if it was an EU member by then—or in Italy, and if that Government were to seek the extradition of the UK Prime Minister or Foreign Secretary of the day [my note: in context, he is talking about these governments hypothetically seeking extradition for war crimes committed by the UK], Conservative Members would be able to say that we warned the Government that that could happen. They would be able to say that it was because the present Home Secretary failed to introduce a political reasons exception to this Bill, as recommended on Second Reading by my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset (Mr. Letwin).
A Mr. Burnett follows up by saying this:
I am delighted that we have the support of Conservative Members on new clause 19. The second head of injustice and oppression is not new—it is taken directly from section 11(3)(b) of the Extradition Act 1989 and appeared in all earlier extradition legislation. The Bill has adopted the cause of injustice and oppression arising out of the passage of time, which I welcome, and has rejected the accusation not in good faith in the interests of justice test in section 11(3)(c) of the 1989 Act. I refer to the case of Saifi v. the governor of Brixton prison, which demonstrated that in the absence of a discretion for the 193Secretary of State to refuse extradition—that is, to act as a long stop to prevent injustice in exceptional cases—grave injustice may occur, which is not avoided by the application of the Human Rights Act 1998. In another case—the Murat Callis case, which was a Turkish case—the court discharged the accused on the ground that the accusations were not made in good faith in the interests of justice, but were made as a means of blackmail. While the principle of mutual recognition must be recognised in respect of category 1 countries that are party to the European Union, it does not fall to be recognised in respect of category 2 countries. The Minister said that he supports the underlying aims of the new clause. He does not, of course, believe that there should be injustice or oppression. As I said, however, it is no good the Minister falling back on human rights protections, because those are not available.
There is then more stuff about the EU arrest warrant.
It continues on that topic until the end of the page.
Vote on an amendment regarding what offenses can there be a streamlined extradition process for. (voted down)
Then the Third reading of the Bill.
Mr. Ainsworth makes this summary of the debates around this act which seems p[retty accurate to me, so I will include it.
The second point of note is that the proposals in part 2, which deal with extradition outside the European Union and away from the European arrest warrant, have been broadly welcomed. I am grateful to the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats for their support for that part of the Bill. Similarly, the provisions that spell out for the first time how we should make outgoing extradition requests, and those that deal with the powers available to the police in extradition cases, have proved largely uncontentious. We have hardly had to deal with them at all during the passage of the Bill. It is fair to say, therefore, that the bulk of our debate has centred on part 1, and it is on that that we ought to concentrate once more, as we try to make a case for the part 1 proposals and the European arrest warrant.
As I said earlier, the main concerns of the debates in the Commons seem to be regarding this European arrest warrant issue, and not any concern about extradition of individuals for political offenses. Mr Ainsworth states again that:
The main extradition hearing, at which the judge will consider whether extradition should take place, will be held soon after the initial hearing. Extradition is barred if the double jeopardy rule applies and if there are no specialty arrangements [my note: this means that a state cannot bring forward further offenses after they have extradited an individual that were not in the warrant] in the requesting state, or if the extradition request has been made for the purpose of punishing a fugitive on the grounds of race, nationality, religion or political opinion. No country that retains the death penalty will be accepted under our part 1 arrangements.
Extradition cannot take place if it would be unjust or oppressive by virtue of a fugitive’s mental or physical condition. Most important, it cannot take place when it would breach a fugitive’s rights under the European convention on human rights.
Some more stuff on Europe and then a vote on the bill.
Sometimes here in the UK it feels like we are not on the front line of the struggle.
We’re generally kind of at a right angle to it.
We are an imperialist country, but we’re not the imperialist country.
We are not in a position where we are fighting for our country and sovereignty against imperialism, against invasion.
Instead, we are the explicit collaborators of the murderous imperialist wars. Our rich people and corporations and military industrial complex are benefactors of these wars.
But our country is not enough on its own to swing the balance against imperialism and for humanity. For that we need those in the United States to make their stand. So we watch what they do and we follow what they do and we get emotionally invested with what they do.
And sometimes it seems like what we do doesn’t really matter too much. Even if, say, we stopped selling arms to Saudi Arabia, the US would step up and sell them more and it would change nothing.
But not this time.
The whole future of press freedom rests with us.
Julian Assange is confined in our country. He is being tortured in our prison. He is being subjected to a show trial in our courts.
Julian Assange showed us the corruption, the rigging, the murder that our leaders do daily while stating they are for democracy. He showed us the real face of the world.
Julian Assange – unlike our media, our government, our schools – has given us our birthright. The truth.
For this crime, Julian Assange has been hounded, mobbed, tortured. He has been dragged from his political asylum, gagged, silenced in a prison for terrorists.
Julian Assange has been vilified and mocked by our so called media as they play out their farcical little skits, acting as if they are reporting real news. He has been spat on by our politicians, who are more than willing to sign his death warrant.
Julian Assange has paid a very high price to give us our birthright.
Now, everything is clear. There is no more pretense of rape charges in Sweden, no apathy based on his safety in the Embassy, and no fig leaf of a ‘fair trial’. There is Julian, there are Julian’s persecutors and torturers, and there is us.
Julian Assange has paid a very high price to give us our birthright, and for that we owe him the greatest of debts.
Craig Murray has been one of the people online who has strongly advocated for Julian Assange and he has been telling the truth about what has been really going on during the Assange extradition hearing, or, more accurately, show trial.
Anyway, it seems Twitter don’t like this very much.
So I was finally able to afford & be able to get down to London for an Assange event. Woke up at 5.30, went out at 7.30am and was back for 7.30pm.
I got there quite early because I allowed myself a lot of time to be late. So that was good.
I didn’t take too much footage because there were a lot of people with cameras there. I noticed Activism TV, RT, and several others. I spoke to a woman from a radio station (not sure which one) and a Guardian reporter who asked for quotes. So that was interesting. I haven’t actually given any quotes to any journalists before. I also took some photos outside Australia House.
Fortunately when I arrived on the bus I saw the ‘Don’t Extradite Assange’ van straight away. So I crossed over the road and joined the other protesters about 11am.
So I wandered around and took some photos and the above footage while waiting for the march. Here’s some of the photos:
The march started and we went down the road. I was near the back-ish somewhere because I’d been over on that side and because a Guardian journalist spoke to me just before the march want off so I had to catch up slightly.
Here’s some footage from part way through the march where we stopped for a little bit.
There were a lot of people with cameras filming footage as we walked past. Including random people on their smartphones as well. Some (presumably) tourists in London were also filming from the open top buses and stuff as well.
Here’s the Assange van going round Westminster:
And a group of protesters after the event:
Rather than discuss the speeches there are streams available if you want to watch them if you weren’t there. Here’s a ruptly stream from the event for you, there may also be other streams, I’m not sure.