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UK minister to lobby US to ratify extradition treaty

[JURIST] The British government is sending Home Office minister Baroness Scotland [official profile] to the US on Thursday to push for US ratification of the treaty [text, PDF; Statewatch backgrounder] aligning extradition requests between the two nations, which the UK has already ratified. Under the UK Extradition Act 2003 [text] which enshrines the treaty in British law, three British bankers wanted in the US in connection with the Enron scandal [JURIST news archive] are to be extradited to the US [JURIST report] under a fast-track process, but the UK will not have a reciprocal agreement until the US ratifies the treaty.

The lack of reciprocity has created something of a political embarrassment for the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair, already accused by opposition politicians of being too complicit with the United States in other areas of policy. Blair defended the treaty last week, saying that the UK and the US use the same evidentiary burden when evaluating extradition requests, though the language differs. BBC News has more.

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