It\’s something of a problem with extradition

Christopher Tappin, the British pensioner extradited to the US on charges of conspiring to supply weapons parts to Iran, has been denied bail by a Texan court.

For, by definition, if you\’ve been extradited then you\’ve had to be dragged into the jurisdiction of the court. So, obviously, you\’re more of a flight risk than someone who has not had to be dragged into the jurisdiction. And flight risk is the major point upon which the granting of bail or not depends.

There\’s not really a solution to this problem either…..

8 comments on “It\’s something of a problem with extradition

  1. Except that he wasn’t deined bail on being a flight risk. He was deined bail on a technicality to do with his financial records.

    Nor was he dragged kicking and screaming to America. He did what he is legally entitled to do and that is to go through the proper legal process which requires the prosecution to show that they have a case – except that in his case they didn’t need to show this due the unbalanced nature of the extradition treaty between the UK and US.

  2. Isn’t it the case that the Yankee Doodles just don’t *do* bail for extraditees.

    Except for the Brum 3, who had Mr Blair’s intervention with Mr Bush.

    On Daily Pol, IIRC one of those couldn’t recall a single other case.

  3. O(kay, I haven’t followed this closely so I may be about to make an ass of myself, as per usual. But so far as I can tell, his crime is selling weapons to an enemy of the USA. Hence, why he has to be extradited.

    I don’t see how under any circumstances this can be a crime suitable for extradition. Nationals and governments of particular countries routinely collude with countries that may be enemies of still other countries all the time; and so far as I can see under the nation state system, that’s fine and, “all’s fair in love and war”. For instance, if France is the enemy of Germany, England is entitled to sell weapons to France, regardless of whether that upsets the Germans, and the Germans can’t extradite Englishmen who sell bullets to France as “criminals”. They might call said persons English pig-dogs but that’s as far as it can go.

    If he’s sold weapons to an enemy of England, he’d be guilty of treason or something, but then he would be tried in England. What it seems to amount to is an accusation that a national of one country can be treasonous to another country of which he is not a citizen, which does not seem to make any sense. The fact that America is an “ally” is surely neither here nor there; alliances come and go and are matters of diplomatic practicality.

    In general, one supposed advantage of the nation state system and its implicit sovereignty is that that sovereignty acts as a protection for nationals. That doesn’t mean there should not be extradition, but violating another country’s trade embargo seems to be a perverse application of it.

    But maybe I’ve misunderstood what this is about. As I said, haven’t followed it closely.

    Tim adds: He’s not being done under treason. Under arms control regs…..the whole end users certificates style thing.

    Without detail, if you buy something from the US which the US says you must have a licence to buy then you’ve bound yourself to the terms of that licence. Which will include “you may not sell it to people we don’t like”. Penalties for breach of these licences can be ferocious. One example: exec at a zirconium powder firm. He thought he was selling Zr powder to a bloke to make car air bags. As it turned out, the bloke was lying and he shipped it off to be made into cluster bombs. It was the exec who did three years hard tome for it though: he’s resonsible for what all of the other people down the chain do with his material.

  4. Tim, I appreciate it doesn’t say “treason” on the tin, but what I was trying to get at is that this is basically what he’s accused of; the principle is what underlies the arms control regs. I was trying to say that I don’t see how such regulations, made by one nation, can be suitable grounds for extradition from another. I mean, clearly they are, but surely they oughtn’t be.

    I mean, they can certainly be grounds for “if you set foot on American soil they will arrest you”, but the nation state system ought to prevent those regulations applying to other nations.

    Tim adds: They way it’s done is that “here’s a nice shiny arms type toy. Now, unless you make your citizens liable for obeying the terms of our licence then we’ll not sell any to your citizens.”

    Same with the nuclear regs which I’ve dealt with before.

  5. Without detail, if you buy something from the US which the US says you must have a licence to buy then you’ve bound yourself to the terms of that licence.

    Indeed. Shell used to sh*t itself over this and push all its contractors through training to make them aware of the regulations. Have a guess which French oil company couldn’t give too f*cks what the Yanks think?

  6. Tim, you make his alleged offence sound like a simple case of breach of contract which under English Law would be an issue for a suit in the civil rather than criminal courts. But the US morphs it into a crime by accusing him of conspiracy.
    What he actually did was agree to sell batteries for civilian use that the FBI claims could have been used for Iranian missiles.
    Ian B, you have made an ass of yourself. Batteries, not weapons!

    Tim adds: Dual use items (those that could be civilian or military/nuclear/ballistic missile use….ad I have had licences under two of those regimes and my US partner under the third) can indeed work like that.

    At the lowest level, if you’re sending them to the military (say) then you need a licence, if civilian, you don’t. At the highest level (say, Rad Hardened chips for rocket telemetry, a licence I have had to ship US chips to Russia) then you are very much taking a risk. Whether your customer is civilian or military you must get a licence. And if your civilian customer passes them on to the military you are still guilty despite that licence.

    There’s really only one cast iron defence. If you can show that the items were, at that time of shipment, commonly available retail in the US then the case falls apart.

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