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September 30, 2006

US Senate Approves Extradition Treaty,,-6116254,00.html

US approves extradition treaty

Press Association
Saturday September 30, 2006 2:33 PM

Home Secretary John Reid has welcomed the approval by the US Senate of a controversial extradition treaty with the UK.

He said he was "delighted" at the backing of the measure after diplomatic pressure in the wake of the outcry over the "Nat West Three".
The bankers were flown to the United States to stand trial on fraud charges relating to the collapsed energy giant Enron under a fast-track procedure that became law in Britain in 2002.

But the move was bitterly attacked by opposition parties because senators had yet to ratify the treaty, meaning reciprocal arrangements for the extradition of US nationals to the UK were not in place.
The treaty still requires the formal approval of the US president, George Bush.

Angry peers voted, at the height of the controversy, to suspend the UK's extradition arrangements with the US until the Senate signed up. And although MPs never had an opportunity to ratify that decision, the Commons witnessed a rare three-hour emergency debate.

Earlier this month, businessman Jeremy Crook became the latest Briton to be extradited under what had been dubbed a "one-way" treaty.
The former European vice-president of software firm Peregrine Systems denies fraud charges.

Mr Reid said: "I am delighted that following the last few months hard work including discussions with my counterpart, and Patricia Scotland's visit to the US over the summer we have succeeded in getting Senate agreement to the US-UK extradition treaty.

"The treaty is an important measure in our fight against serious international crime. Crime does not respect borders and in this modern age it is vital that law enforcement officers around the world have the tools available in order to help fight crime in the 21st century."

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2006, All Rights Reserved.

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