Sudan and the USA

John B’s been comparing Sudan with the USA:

The case of Gillian Gibbons is a sad reminder of why going to third-world hellholes and not paying attention to the locals’ crazy prejudices can be a bad idea. Ditto the next daft youth to be hanged in south-east Asia for trying to export a bit of Doherty-fuel.

But the cases of Babar Ahmad, David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew and Giles Darby are actually important.

None of the four actually did anything illegal in the first place (running a pro-Taliban website before 2001 was not illegal. And buying something from your boss for less money than you think it’s worth has never been), which is why they weren’t charged in the UK. Thankfully, we retain slightly more objectivity than the Americans when dealing with harmless financial shenanigans [**], and mildly more objectivity when dealing with Teh Evil Terrurists.

Some background: the Blair government signed an extradition treaty with the USA whereby the British government will meekly hand over to the Americans anyone they want to charge with any crime, and the accused will have to right to contest the extradition in Britain. Of course, the UK government doesn’t have the same right to extradite US citizens.

Personally, I think British politicians who sign unequal treaties with foreign powers should be charged with treason; let them explain their actions to a jury (preferably one made up of relatives of people extradited under this evil law). Or in Blair’s case, he should be given an ASBO preventing him from going anywhere in the UK.

As John says:

We shouldn’t be sending British people to America to face trial for actions which, if they are crimes, were committed in the UK. Ever. At all. Full stop. It’s an outrage to national sovereignty and natural justice. And if a political party (possibly aside from the BNP) commits in its manifesto to repealing the US extradition treaty, they’ve certainly got my vote…

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