We have written about various dubious Extradition cases e.g. computer hacker Gary McKinnon, the NatWest 3 bankers - David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew , British Islamic IT technician Babar Ahmad, who the US authorities have extradited or are in the process of extraditing , and Farid Hilali, the first person in the UK served with a European Arrest Warrant for extradition to Spain.
Since it appears that any of us could fall foul of foreign laws and be arrested and extradited, like the people mentioned above, simply on the basis of accusations, unsupported by any actual prima facie evidence which could be challenged by the defence in a UK extradition court hearing, no matter how exaggerated, no matter if the allegations are as a result of "evidence" obtained by torture, or through the use of electronic intercepts which are not allowed to be presented as evidence in a UK court, etc. we were interested in whether or not the Secretary of State to whom it is possible, in some circumstances to appeal to, or at least to make representations to under the notorious Extradition Act 2003 would remain as the Home Secretary at the Home Office, or whether these legal functions would pass to the new Ministry of Justice, which comes into effect on the 9th of May when the Department for Constitutional Affairs is abolished.
We enquired of both the Home Office and of the Department for Constitutional Affairs, and it seems that
When the Ministry of Justice is created, responsibility for extradition matters will remain with the Home Secretary
i.e. Extradition remains the plaything of the Home Office - the "Ministry of Injustice", despite the obvious logic of removing this essentially judicial legalistic procedural function from the Home Secretary.
Email from the Home Office:
Direct Communications Unit 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF
Switchboard 020 7035 4848 Fax: 020 7035 4745 Textphone: 020 7035 4742
E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.homeoffice.gov.uk
12 April 2007
Dear Mr XXX,
Thank you for your e-mail of 3 April 2007 about the Extradition Act 2003. Your e-mail has been passed to the Extradition Section to reply.
You ask who is “specifically responsible for representations etc. to the Secretary of State” under the 2003 Act, following the recently announced Machinery of Government changes that are to come into effect on 9 May 2007.
When the Ministry of Justice is created, responsibility for extradition matters will remain with the Home Secretary.
Thank you for writing in on this matter and I hope you find this information helpful.