US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by persona_non_grata, Dec 2, 2007.

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  1. Shamelessly nicked from ARRSE at this clicky thingy here

    From the Times Online

    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.â€

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

    Jones replied: “That is United States law.â€

    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.â€

    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.â€

    The US Justice Department declined to comment.

    Could make the next few years interesting if people suddenly start to vanish all over the place... Sovereignty doesn't appear to matter any more to the Yanks, nor legal processes.
    What do you think?

  2. Given that attitude, it's hardly surprising most of the rest of the world hates America.
  3. Makes me wonder about the Yanks! Perhaps we should really invoke the thread that has been running in Gash Barge and revoke the Declaration of Independance .. wonder how they'd cope with Golden Brown as Supreme Being! Mind they would of course have to move to a more sustainable currancy and also drive on the right side of the road i.e. the left like the rest of us.

    On a serious note This is yet another American plot to be the omnipotent nation. They drag us into two wars which we seem to more at risk of getting bombed by the Yanks than the ragheads under some guise of being the "world police". One wonders if the kidnappee would end up in Gitmo?? It really sounds as if they make this stuff up as they go along. What ever happened to the 5th amendment or whatever that does - probably doesn't count if your not a US citizen in which case you have no Human Rights whatsoever. Bet these so called Bounty Hunters would also be running around armed to the teeth and probably got the guns in in the diplomatic bags anyway. And to think that I used to like visiting the place.
  4. We've got ourselves into bed with a rum 'un and will one day live to regret it!
    The U.S. does not have allies, it has hostages!
  5. Pity we have never had the balls to kidnap the IRA terrorists who shot their way out of Jail in Ulster, killing officers. Yet, still live freely in the USA today.
  6. It couldn't happen.
    There is too much pressure from the 'plastic paddys' who live in luxury on the New Jersey coast, have polictical power and still support the 'freedom' fight back home.
  7. Ties in nicely with the recent judgements in Canada

    Canadian Judge Invalidates Country's Refugee Treaty With U.S.


    It would be an appropriate time for the British to begin distancing themselves from these numpties by nipping the War on Terra in the bud by the unilateral abrogation of treaties that allow the USA to use British territory to bomb other countries. I never thought that I would look on the Cold War as a time of relative peace and stability but it sure seems that way since the USA decided that it was to become the sole superpower in a Unipolar world and that everyone would obey or die. The doctrine that the USA has now adopted that it will use first strike nuclear weapons against non-nuclear powers is a policy of lunatics.

  8. The really worrying thing is the numptie that is in the White House with his finger on the button! I'm wondering just how long good 'ol Dubya has got left in office before some other left or right wing meglomaniac takes over. Please someone tell me it's soon!!! OTOH if we have to rely on the US to push the button does mean that Gordie can't?? You can just imagine the trans atlantic conversation with Dubya screaming Bomb the Bas&&rds while Gordie just sits there saying Prudence Prudence.
  9. :thumright:
    Unless there is another AQ attack on the US which will give Bubble Boy the excuse he needs to stay in power he will become no more than an unpleasant memory and potential war-criminal at 1200hrs on the 20th January 2009....... That's 1 year, 1 month, 19 days and a wake-up call. Not that I'm counting :thumright:

  10. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Unless there is another AQ attack on the US which will give Bubble Boy the excuse he needs to stay in power he will become no more than an unpleasant memory and potential war-criminal at 1200hrs on the 20th January 2009....... That's 1 year, 1 month, 19 days and a wake-up call. Not that I'm counting thumright


    Quote Bergs,

    Scary thing is mate I can see him letting this happen just so he can stay in power!
  11. Everything is in place; unauthorised wire-taps, suspension of habeas corpus, legalized goverment kidnapping, secret prisons, compliant media, the Patriot Act and military tribunals.. Now there's lighthearted for you :thumright:
  12. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Mate, you need to read the Crimbo dinner thread, I'd gladly share a few bottles of red....

    I over heard a yank complaining the other day that the price of fuel was a colossal 38p a litre over there, I think he was fresh into the uk and hadn't quite got his head around the exchange rate yet. Bush can't seriously do another term can he?
  13. Depends if he declares himself Emperor or just plain Dicktater... :dwarf:
  14. We should kidnap some of them, see how they like it :)
  15. There are a couple I wouldn't mind kidnapping!!! :rambo:
  16. Contributor MOde

    How about kidnapping a couple of blue on blue suspects. Thay may bring on the pains.

    Also suspend the current Extradition Treaty until all branches of the US Goverment ratify the current agreement and make it two way traffic. Further re-negoiate a list of offences to which the agreement will apply.

    Also make plainly clear publicy that any person involved in kidnapping of a UK citzen that then tries to claim Diplomatic Immunity or protection under the Visiting Forces Act will have the request refused by way of this publicly declared intention by the UK Authorites.

    Maybe they would then seriously think about it.

  17. Seriously Nutty - I dont think they actually give a damn. The Yanks feel that they are the worlds only super power and treat us like we are the 52nd State. The ony reason we get dragged into all these wars is so the Yanks can say they weren't alone. Think "Dubya" just walks around singing "When I Rule the World". Because at the end of the day I am sure that they feel that they do!
  18. O Keeper of Lions

    I agree I don't think the yanks give a shite but if one of theirs was banged up in a UK prison for doing good goverment duty in the eys of the US Public then it would bring on the pain in Washington.

  19. All totally bloody depressing and demeaning. In perspective, though, we are running down our armed capability at such a rate they we can't afford to overdistance ourselves from the US. Add to that the number of Posters on here, Pprune and Arrse who hate everything built at home and advocate buying everything off the shelf Stateside to get more punch for our pound.

    There's more to Freedom than watching whatever we want on the telly and writing whatever we want in our newspapers.

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