Dominic Grieve MP has called for the ‘NatWest Three’ (see background here) to have the "benefit of British justice". Mr Grieve’s intervention is reported in The Daily Telegraph which has begun a ‘Fair Trials for British Business’ petition to revise "a manifestly unfair extradition treaty" with the USA.
Writing in today’s Telegraph the Shadow Home Secretary David Davis calls for the rules on extradition to be heavily revised and fast. Mr Davis accuses the Government of failing to honour its assurances of adequate safeguards:
"First, we were told it would be used not for financial crime but against suspected terrorists. In fact, as Walter Wolfgang discovered at the Labour Party Conference, under this Government, laws intended for terrorists have a habit of being used more widely. The Extradition Act is such a law. More than half of all requests to extradite Britons to the US have reportedly involved businessmen, not suspected terrorists.
Second, at the time, ministers told Parliament that ratification of the treaty was expected in the US in early 2004. In fact it has still not been ratified, and there are no signs of that happening.
And even if it did, the arrangements would not be equal. For extradition to the UK, we are required to provide "such information as would provide a reasonable basis to believe that the person sought committed the offence for which extradition is requested". There is no equivalent requirement for extraditions the other way."
Mr Davis makes it clear that he is not commenting on the guilt or innocence of the NatWest Three but he asks for them to be tried in Britain.