Thursday, May 31, 2007


Crazy - or What?

I'm afraid the illogical news media are at it again.

News that the Russians probably had something to do with the murder of Alexander Litvinenko is not exactly news. The finger of suspicion has been firmly pointed at the Kremlin since Litvinenko's death in London. What makes this story so annoying is the typically parochial way the UK media are focussing on the lack of an extradition arrangement with Russia – despite the fact that Andrei Lugovoy could be prosecuted in Russia for this crime – if sufficient evidence exists.

So, where's the illogicality?

The Enron Three, that's where.

How so? Read on.

Three British bankers are set to be extradited to the United States over charges related to the Enron scandal, following a High Court decision which could have far-reaching consequences for UK extradition law.

Lawyers for the three men tried to block the request by arguing that the Serious Fraud Office should investigate the case.

But Lord Justice Laws ruled the case "has very substantial connections with the United States and is perfectly properly triable there", saying it would be "unduly simplistic to treat the case as a domestic English affair".

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said the decision was "nothing short of a disgrace" and the trio were being traded like "sacks of parrots".

Mark Spragg, who acted as solicitor for the three men, spoke of the consequences of the court's decision.

He said: "This judgement means that no UK person or body has to decide which country should prosecute an alleged offence involving more than one country." - The Telegraph

Paraphrasing: we can't let anyone else have anything to do with deciding where to extradite our citizens and (even in the USA) the “foreigners” can't be trusted to organise a trial or dispense justice.

I think this is the same as the Russian position.

Sources in the Office of the Prosecutor-General pointed out that under their constitution they did not extradite their own nationals. They should be tried, if anywhere, in Russia.

There is no bilateral extradition treaty between Britain and the Russian Federation; and although in 2001 the federation signed up to the extradition arrangements under the 1957 European Convention on Human Rights, it retains the opt out that it need not extradite its own nationals. - The Times

Yep, that's what I thought – that is the Russian position.

So, how can the media get outraged when British criminals (alleged) are extradited to the USA to stand trial and then start a media feeding frenzy of astronomical proportions when Russian criminals (alleged) are not extradited to the UK to stand trial?

Anybody ever heard of logic?

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