back to article Autonomy founder Mike Lynch loses first stage in fight against extradition to US

Mike Lynch, former chief exec of Autonomy, has reportedly lost his US extradition fight at its earliest stage in London's Westminster Magistrates' Court. District Judge Michael Snow announced his decision at a virtual hearing earlier this afternoon. Lynch's legal team confirmed the news The Register, which is also being …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    It's only fair

    Heads of US corporations are regularly extradited to foreign countries to face trials about their tax arrangements or employment conditions

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's only fair

      Heads of US corporations know how to correctly use subsidiaries, lawyers, and accountants to get away with it.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: It's only fair

      >Heads of US corporations ...

      Can you provide the names of some head's of US corporations being extradited to face charges in a foreign/non-US court about their IRS tax arrangements and employees conditions of work in the USA...

      1. Youngone

        Re: It's only fair

        Obvious sarcasm is obvious.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: It's only fair

          Not at all. There are many similar comments by those believing their own bs. Sarcasm is very difficut to detect in the Trumpistan world.

      2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: It's only fair

        @Roland6 that whooshing sound you hear is the sarcasm passing over you at 31,000 feet.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: It's only fair

          Yes I was got by this one, others in the thread aren't quite so straight-faced.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pritpetual motion

    I wonder if the home secretary could be induced into a state of perpetual flip flop (much like a cat with buttered toast strapped to back) if:

    Mr Blobby (lynch) were to loose his passport and float in on a rubber dingy

    Has an extradition request against him

  3. MrReynolds2U Bronze badge

    Secret handshake?

    Sounds like HPE expect to lose and have crossed the right palm with silver to get ahead of the civil judgment.

    They haven't been able to bring a criminal case to trial.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong but... if there's no criminal case to answer in the UK, then he can't be extradited... or have I mis-read the treaty?

    1. First Light Silver badge

      Re: Secret handshake?

      Who do you believe was bribed? The extraditing magistrate or the civil court judge or someone else?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Secret handshake?

      > Please correct me if I'm wrong but... if there's no criminal case to answer in the UK, then he can't be extradited... or have I mis-read the treaty?

      You've completely mis-read the treaty. The US only has to show that charges have been laid. Nothing more. No matter how preposterous the case nor how flimsy their claim of jurisdiction. And yes, we signed up to this one-sided nonsense.

      On the plus side, US courts do occasionally decide that matters are best dealt with by local courts in the relevant country. For example, following the Bhopal disaster when an American company caused the deaths of thousands and inflicted horrific, life-changing injuries on hundreds of thousands of others, the US courts repeatedly denied attempts to claim compensation in the US, ruling that it was a matter for the Indian courts.

      (Note, obvious sarcasm is sarcasm as someone said earlier.)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Popcorn.....

    Patel is screwed here.

    Allows extradition: Bad press due to not having that diplomats(*) wife extradited from the US that killed that bloke in Norfolk

    Disallows extradition: Rocks the "special relationship" boat with the US that we all know is a very one sided relationship

    Can't wait to see what happens.....

    1. Andre Carneiro

      Re: Popcorn.....

      Not sure she gives a flying fcuk about "bad press"...

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Popcorn.....

        She thinks it's a good idea to execute innocent people to deter others. (Quite how that's supposed to be a deterrent is unclear).

        Said so repeatedly on TV, even when given an opportunity to "clarify".

        She'll rubber stamp this so fast the paper won't even touch her in tray.

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn.....

          "She thinks it's a good idea to execute innocent people to deter others. (Quite how that's supposed to be a deterrent is unclear)."

          I think the logic of how it's supposed to be a deterrent is very clear. You might not agree with it, but it's clear.

          1. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: Popcorn.....

            What, execute innocent people to deter other innocent people?

            -A.

            1. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

              Re: Popcorn.....

              No, to deter other people from being innocent. A life of crime is only sensible!

            2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              Re: Popcorn.....

              No. Don't be obtuse.

          2. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Popcorn.....

            bless. You must be very "innocent". Or something.

  5. Julz Silver badge

    So

    Remind me again, how many US citizens get extradited to the UK?

    To answer my own question, not many. Latest data I could quickly find states 7 in the years of 2004 to 2011 inclusive. A nice rider being "No US citizen was extradited for an alleged crime while the person was based in the US" so...

    1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      Latest data I could quickly find states 7 in the years of 2004 to 2011 inclusive.

      Is 7 an update to the data that were given in Hansard, where the totals were 39 + 3 = 42 (through 2011-11-29) for England and Wales?

      1. Chris 244
        FAIL

        Have an Irony Booster on me

        7 is more than 5, which is the number of US nationals extradited per your reference.

        1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          Re: Have an Irony Booster on me

          Mea culpa — I glossed over the “US citizens” part of Julz’ comment.

          That being said, the numbers of US nationals for years before 2007 were listed as “n/k” (“not known”) because “the nationality of those extradited to the UK from the United States has not in the past been routinely recorded”. (The 2003 extradition treaty didn’t replace the previous one until 2007, primarily because the US Senate didn’t ratify the 2003 treaty until 2006.)

          Do you have information on how many times extradition of US nationals from the US to the UK was refused between 2004 and 2011? I’d think that comparing the number of refusals to the number of requests in both directions would be more relevant to the treaty’s proportionality than comparing the number of extraditions to the number of requests in both directions. Note that the entirety of Article 3 of the 2003 extradition treaty is “Extradition shall not be refused based on the nationality of the person sought.” (which applies to extradition in both directions).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So

      https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-01-23/debates/B8A31ACD-FF42-42F5-9F94-D5D53ACC946C/UK-USExtraditionAgreement

      Thursday 23 January 2020

      Mr David Davis

      "

      ~

      Since 2007, the UK has surrendered 135 UK nationals to the US, 99 of them for non-violent alleged offences. During the same period, the US has surrendered only 11 people to the UK. That is why countries such as France and Israel refuse to allow their citizens to be extradited. It seems inconceivable, then, that the UK has ceded so much of its discretion, particularly given the extraordinary way in which extradited suspects are treated in the US. Many people think the US justice system is broadly similar to ours. The reality is that it is much more slanted.

      ~

      "

      1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

        Re: So

        The 2003 extradition treaty does not require violence to be involved in the alleged offense; it requires that the punishment for the alleged offense be at least one year’s “deprivation of liberty” in both jurisdictions. The involvement of violence in the alleged offense was also not required for extradition in the 1972 extradition treaty, which the 2003 extradition treaty replaced.

        Do you have information on how many extradition requests were refused, in both directions?

      2. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: So

        David Davis, the Brexiter, who lied about the economy, and who bleats endlessly about the EU and the UK having been prevented from following or making its own laws, is now lauding EU countries for doing what he says they couldn't do.

        And people still can't understand they have and are being lied to.

  6. alain williams Silver badge

    If this were the other way round ...

    would someone be extradited from the USA to the UK ? I doubt it.

    If Lynch is tried in the USA I suspect that he will be found guilty - there is too much money riding on it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If this were the other way round ...

      People are regularly extradited from the US to the UK. Just not US citizens. But don't worry. The UK is not some vassal state that kowtows to a 'superior', more powerful nation. Oh no. We have taken back control of our borders. And our Sovereignty! What's that Uncle Sam? You want us to sell our citizens down the river? Sure, how far?

      1. David 164

        Re: If this were the other way round ...

        How many of those people were accuse of committing their crimes on US soil that were cleared by US authorities before being extradited to another country to face punishment under their legal system?

  7. JWLong Bronze badge

    Buyer beware

    And as the saying goes, figures don't lie, but liars do figure.

    If there is money to be made the thieves will come out in droves.

    And HP looks really stupid, don't they?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Buyer beware

      Head of HP in the US stands trial for going through with a company takeover without proper due diligence. Said nobody.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Buyer beware

        No point, because Leo is in Paris, and France presumably wouldn't extradite him.

        (But of course I take your point. US authorities wouldn't dream of bringing charges against him. The case against Lynch is for embarrassing the HP board members at the time for not doing their jobs – though they did get rid of Apotheker pretty hastily. Their bruised egos and influence are what's keeping this case afloat, along with the toxic politicization and competition in the US prosecutorial service generally.)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Buyer beware

          I wonder if a large part of keeping it going isn't so much their embarrassment, but NOT pursuing Lynch would be an admission of their own lack of due diligence thus opening them up to being sued by the shareholders. It's all about the money and in particular, who shoulders the blame.

  8. Danny 2 Silver badge

    FT

    Lynch in the FT:

    “At the request of the US Department of Justice, the Court has ruled that a British citizen who ran a British company listed on the London Stock Exchange should be extradited to America over allegations about his conduct in the UK. We say this case belongs in the UK.”

    ...

    Lynch’s argument against extradition to the US was founded on a defence known as “forum bar”, which allows the courts to block extradition if a large part of the alleged criminal activity took place in the UK...The SFO dropped its own probe in 2015 after ceding parts of its investigation to the US.

    Snow...also criticised one of Lynch’s expert witnesses who testified to the hearings about US prison conditions as being an “unreliable partisan witness.”

    The argument that the US penal system is so inhumane that we shouldn't extradite anyone there has been slightly undercut by the rapid decline in British prison conditions. The 'forum bar' should still apply though, if he committed a crime here then prosecute him here. If the SFO can't afford that then maybe they should apply for a grant from the US.

    1. First Light Silver badge

      Re: FT

      If convicted, as a white collar criminal he'll be in a low security federal facility, aka Club Fed. Some even have tennis courts.

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: FT

        No. If convicted he should be in a British prison, as either he broke the law here and should be prosecuted here, or didn't break the law here in which case he shouldn't be extradited.

        I thought his lawyer summarised it well.

  9. Phones Sheridan

    Something stinks. The verdict on the civil trial is a year overdue. It doesn’t take a year pandemic or not for the judge to pull out his typewriter and 2 finger type his judgement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      dunno...

      ...I think judges have a lot of judgements to write given the quantity of BS court cases going around.

      Also, I'm pretty sure Mike Lynch would be out of jail by now if he had pleaded guilty in the US. Not that he is guilty of anything more than hyping his obviously over-valued data mining company in the same way as blockchain/AI companies do these days...

      1. Santa from Exeter

        Re: dunno...@ AC

        Quote - I'm pretty sure Mike Lynch would be out of jail by now if he had pleaded guilty in the US.

        I'm pretty sure that they will throw the book at him and he will die in a US prison.

        After all, by their lights a Furriner has embarrased their 'Great and Good' and we can't be having that.

        Incidentally, can someone please explain exactly what 'Wire Fraud' is as it seems to be used to pad out any white collar case as a way to shove extra years on the sentence.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: dunno...@ AC

          "Incidentally, can someone please explain exactly what 'Wire Fraud' is as it seems to be used to pad out any white collar case as a way to shove extra years on the sentence."

          IIRC, it's to do with committing fraud "remotely" over the telegraph system rather than in person. It now seems to cover the use of any type of communication system, so unless you plan to defraud someone purely by standing in front of them and convincing them of something, pretty much all fraud is "wire fraud" in some form or another. A single related email or SMS could be enough to add the charge of "wire fraud" to normal, run-of-the-mill fraud. Somehow, to the general public, it "bigs up" the charges and makes it seem like a worse crime. Similar happens in the UK where it's common to add "conspiracy" charges, eg theft and conspiracy to steal. Again, it sounds worse, especially to a jury, although in this case, conspiracy is actually the lower charge since conspiring to commit a crime and then not doing it isn't actually a crime in most cases and very difficult to prove unless things have been written down and/or equipment and materials gathered to enact the crime.

          On the other hand, here in the UK, the CPS will usually throw away most or all of the lessor charges as a waste of time since sentences are usually served concurrently making it a waste of the courts time to examine 15 different charges and all that relevant extra evidence when the one or two main charges are likely to be enough. The US seems to prefer the idea of consecutive sentences and punishment rather than rehabilitation, so multiple charges and multiple counts of the same charge is what they tend to go for resulting in longer sentences, sometimes far in excess of any human lifespan, let alone the likely lifespan of the person being incarcerated.

          1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

            charge embiggening

            Somehow, to the general public, [wire fraud] “bigs up” the charges and makes it seem like a worse crime.

            On the contrary — what a charge of wire fraud (or mail fraud, for that matter) can do is change the nature of the crime, from a state crime to a federal crime, since fraud that crosses an interstate or international boundary is under the jurisdiction of Congress, even if the fraud’s “source” and “destination” are in the same state. Thus, fraud that involves e.g. a telephone call, an e-mail, a bank transfer, &c. that crosses any such boundary in any part of its delivery changes the venue where the charge would be tried.

  10. Potemkine! Silver badge

    "At the request of the US Department of Justice, the court has ruled that a British citizen who ran a British company listed on the London Stock Exchange should be extradited to America over allegations about his conduct in the UK."

    What's the problem? We all now UK is the 51st state.

  11. Cynical Pie

    Donations

    The cynic in me wonders if HP's UK subsidiary or one of their directors might have made a donation to the Tory party to grease the wheels here...

    I would put nothing past the current bunch of immoral liars and chancers occupying the various Depts and State and Downing Street

  12. old_IT_guy

    The extradition treaty we have in entirely one sided, the treaty was hurriedly put together at the start of the "war on terror" we signed our side, the US never signed the bit that made the treaty reciprocal.

    Look at the Anne Sacoolas case - were she a UK citizen who did what she did in the US instead we would have had to ship her over to them. They are under no obligation to send her to us for trial.

    US state has in some ways more power over UK citizens than our own authorities. The treaty should be abandoned by the UK asap.

    1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      the US never signed the bit that made the treaty reciprocal.

      Which never-signed bit would that be, exactly? Was there some US-reciprocating part of the Extradition Act 2003 that didn’t make its way into the 2003 extradition treaty? (The treaty was signed by representatives of both countries in 2003, but wasn’t ratified by the US Senate until 2006, and didn’t replace the older treaty until 2007.)

      In the case of Anne Sacoolas, the High Court there ruled in November 2020 that she had diplomatic immunity at the time of Harry Dunn’s death. If she were a responsible human being, she would waive that diplomatic immunity and return to the UK to face her accusers; in the interim, she and her husband are defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia brought by Dunn’s family.

      Either party in the 2003 extradition treaty can unilaterally terminate it by giving notice to the other party; the termination takes effect six months after the receipt of notice. If the treaty were abandoned, the previous extradition treaty would not be automagically restored; there would be no extradition at all between the two countries. If you want everyone who commits a significant crime in the UK to be able to evade justice there by fleeing to a country with no extradition treaty with the UK, then abandoning the current treaty would be one way to help achieve that goal.

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