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July 27, 2006

IAUC Battles Extradition Treaty

IAUC Battles Extradition Treaty

Second Senate Hearing Held in Washington, DC

By Deanna Turner, Director of Communications

Members of the IAUC, AOH, INA and ACLU attended a second
US/UK Extradition hearing held before the U.S. Committee on
Foreign Relations in the Senate on Friday, July 21, 2006 in
the Dirksen Building in Washington, DC.

Dr. Robert Linnon, IAUC’s National President, presented
expert testimony urging the Senate Committee, “I beg you
not to approve this treaty as it is grossly unfair to those
it targets!”

Newly elected President of the AOH, Jack Meehan, also
appeared stating, “No U.S. citizen is safe from extradition
who has spoken out against the British government’s role in
Northern Ireland”.

Jim Magee, AOH’s legal counsel added, “Judicial safeguards
do not guarantee liberties. If an American aided Joe
Doherty to evade Britain’s extradition request, they could
be extradited for an offense that occurred twenty years

Unfortunately, Professor Francis Boyle, who testified as an
expert witness at the first hearing held on November 15,
2005 and had previously submitted his testimony prior to
the current hearing, was unable to appear. His flight was
cancelled due to severe rainstorms in Chicago. Senator
Richard Lugar acknowledged this fact and made a concerted
effort to highlight several of Boyle’s points, providing
members of the Committee and the panel witnesses’ time to
discuss and rebut if necessary.

Those in attendance to provide testimony in support of the
treaty were Professor Madeline Morris of Duke University
Law School, Paul J. McNulty – Deputy Attorney General of
U.S. Department of Justice and Samuel M. Witten – Deputy
Legal Adviser of Department of State.

Malachy McAllister and Larry Zaitschek who have a very
personal stake in the treaty’s outcome were also in
attendance at the hearing.

Andy Pike who works in the British Embassy office in New
York was also in the audience listening in.

Senator Christopher Dodd used the forum to ask some very
pointed questions of the Administration’s legal counsel
witnesses’ as to why they want to change the existing
treaty, to review how it affects the concerns raised by
Irish Americans and urged them to tread very carefully
before encouraging the Senate to change U.S. laws just to
satisfy the British governments requests.

“We are a nation of laws and we need to remind ourselves of
the U.S. tradition of laws and why they are place."

Arguments were given by the U.S. Administration witnesses
that the treaty should be ratified because of political
motivation by members of the British Parliament.

Dodd’s response, “I’m not going to do it because they want
me to! I have an obligation to the people here and to my
constituents. We cannot go around tailoring our own laws
because a foreign power is putting political pressure on us
to do so or because critics of Tony Blair’s do not like
something. Where would America be today if we did that?”

Senator Dodd also brought up the fact that “since the 1995
US/UK Supplemental Treaty it is worthy to note that out of
33 extradition requests made from the UK, Article 3 which
deals with the political offense exception wasn’t made in
any of the cases…” “So why carry it over to this new

He also inquired about Britain’s Diplock juryless court
trials and the fact that Judge’s use of double jeopardy
retrials to obtain a different outcome to previous held
trials goes against the U.S. standard of justice practices
and could be carried over in the current treaty the way it
is presently written.

Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign
Relations agreed to leave the record open for a week for
witnesses to respond by next Friday in order to complete
the record and give Professor Francis Boyle and the
Administration witnesses more chance to review the pending
questions and respond accordingly.

Lugar stated, “We acknowledge the issues raised by Irish
American groups and their concern for a potential legal
situation of reaching back to individuals who have made
statements regarding Irish/British affairs. The history of
the conflict between Great Britain and Ireland and the
issues involving this treaty need to be dealt with and
worked out. This hearing has been useful in doing that.”

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