US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Chuffit, Dec 2, 2007.

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  1. US says it has right to kidnap British citizens


    AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

    A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

    The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

    Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects.

    The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington.

    Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.

    The US government’s view emerged during a hearing involving Stanley Tollman, a former director of Chelsea football club and a friend of Baroness Thatcher, and his wife Beatrice.

    The Tollmans, who control the Red Carnation hotel group and are resident in London, are wanted in America for bank fraud and tax evasion. They have been fighting extradition through the British courts.

    During a hearing last month Lord Justice Moses, one of the Court of Appeal judges, asked Alun Jones QC, representing the US government, about its treatment of Gavin, Tollman’s nephew. Gavin Tollman was the subject of an attempted abduction during a visit to Canada in 2005.

    Jones replied that it was acceptable under American law to kidnap people if they were wanted for offences in America. “The United States does have a view about procuring people to its own shores which is not shared,” he said.

    He said that if a person was kidnapped by the US authorities in another country and was brought back to face charges in America, no US court could rule that the abduction was illegal and free him: “If you kidnap a person outside the United States and you bring him there, the court has no jurisdiction to refuse — it goes back to bounty hunting days in the 1860s.”

    Mr Justice Ouseley, a second judge, challenged Jones to be “honest about [his] position”.

    Jones replied: “That is United States law.”

    He cited the case of Humberto Alvarez Machain, a suspect who was abducted by the US government at his medical office in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1990. He was flown by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to Texas for criminal prosecution.

    Although there was an extradition treaty in place between America and Mexico at the time — as there currently is between the United States and Britain — the Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that the Mexican had no legal remedy because of his abduction.

    In 2005, Gavin Tollman, the head of Trafalgar Tours, a holiday company, had arrived in Toronto by plane when he was arrested by Canadian immigration authorities.

    An American prosecutor, who had tried and failed to extradite him from Britain, persuaded Canadian officials to detain him. He wanted the Canadians to drive Tollman to the border to be handed over. Tollman was escorted in handcuffs from the aircraft in Toronto, taken to prison and held for 10 days.

    A Canadian judge ordered his release, ruling that the US Justice Department had set a “sinister trap” and wrongly bypassed extradition rules. Tollman returned to Britain.

    Legal sources said that under traditional American justice, rendition meant capturing wanted people abroad and bringing them to the United States. The term “extraordinary rendition” was coined in the 1990s for the kidnapping of terror suspects from one foreign country to another for interrogation.

    There was concern this weekend from Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP, who said: “The very idea of kidnapping is repugnant to us and we must handle these cases with extreme caution and a thorough understanding of the implications in American law.”

    Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said: “This law may date back to bounty hunting days, but they should sort it out if they claim to be a civilised nation.”

    The US Justice Department declined to comment.

    Can't wait to see how this plays out.
    For instance, what would happen if a Septic kidnap-squad got themselves caught trying to 'render' a British citizen? Would the British authorities try them under British law, or let them go for the sake of the UK/US alliance?
    And, what do the words 'Sovereign Nation' mean nowadays?
  2. It may be sanctioned by the US Supreme Court, but contravenes British Law, and an offence committed on British territory could and should be tried in a British court.
  3. Quote:
    Can't wait to see how this plays out.
    For instance, what would happen if a Septic kidnap-squad got themselves caught trying to 'render' a British citizen? Would the British authorities try them under British law, or let them go for the sake of the UK/US alliance?
    And, what do the words 'Sovereign Nation' mean nowadays? Quote:

    easy really - everything under the Mantle of The War on Terror and he can use a few Blackwater guys from his private army - they`re exempt from laws.
  4. Let's kidnap a few of them...see how they like it! :twisted:
  5. How about everyone who gave money to NORAID?
  6. Personally I'd get Cherry Bliar to save me under human rights' law, lets be honest her husband did sign up for it to ensure his wife had a profitable nest egg for their retirement.
    Thank God labour saved us from the corruption and self serving lies of the tories, in my opinion they were amateurs when it comes to lies and mirrors, some of theirs went to gaol.
  7. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Wonder if the kidnap team would like to start with with broon? I'm sure we can come up with something incriminating?

  8. She may be on the list of those that go to the wall come the glorious day, but I agree with the cow on this one.
  9. Since when has America listened to anyone else?

    As far as I'm concerned, this "alliance" between Britain and America must end.

    If we ever did likewise with US citizens on US soil, there'd be a ****ing outcry.
  10. Is there not a US law that holds that if one of there service personnel is arrested under teh Hauge Convention

    then they can go in all guns blazing to free the said miscreatant
  11. Le_addeur_noir

    Le_addeur_noir On ROPs

    Let's face it,Britain is seen as the 51st state when it suits them.

    That doesn't help Brits going to the States on holiday,etc,but as said only when it suits them.

    This seems to imply that US law applies to anyone anywhere.The first step in world domination?.The hand of the PNAC crowd here?.

    The Natwest three deserved extradition,as their crime(s) involved Americans being ripped-off.Just because white-collar crime seems to be tolerated in some circles in the UK,the same does not apply with the Americans.These three also ripped-off their own bank.They should have faced charges over that here as well.Having said that the only way to proceed is through the extradition system.
  12. If I ran an On-Line gambling website I would be equally worried. Most of the UK operators are "wanted" in the USA
  13. I fail to see why the US thinks its laws apply despite international boundaries and a lack of jurisdiction. This in total disregard of nations soveriegnty and independance. (Hmmmmm, sounds familiar).

    Rendition (or kidnapping) is an offence under English law and as such, US citizens carrying out this offence should be prosecuted.

    Results can be catastrophic. See link:

    New Yorker - Outsourcing Torture

    We have all read the situation regarding the "Nat West Three" where the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2003 was used to bring these British citizens to account in the US. Its a shame that whilst the UK have ratified the Treaty the US have failed to do so.

    Whilst I do not like quoting George Galloway, he laboured the point quite eloquently:

    That soundbite sums the situation up quite well.
  14. i wish they would kidnap all of our criminals and gas them for us.. it doesn't seem like our government has the balls to punish crime properly so maby we should let somebody else take care of it. while they're at it they could take some of the scrounging sub-human shit that floods through our borders on a daily basis.
  15. The uk parliament signed the legislation allowing the rendition of alleged terrorists and thats what was used to deport the Natwest 3 so unless the government repeals the terrorisim legislation the US can deport anyone they want, once your in america your stuffed anyway so if they kidnap you it'll be curtains, same as if Mossad get you