Court allows appeal against extradition to the US on issue of forum pursuant to the Extradition Act 2003, s 83A


Re: Scott v Government of the United States of America [2018] EWHC 2021 (Admin)

The US government sought the extradition of Scott, pursuant to an extradition request made on 30 Jan 2017 and certified under the Extradition Act 2003, s 70 on 9 Mar 2017. Extradition is sought in order for the appellant to stand trial in the US in connection with alleged fraudulent foreign exchange trading in Dec 2011 when his employer, HSBC, acted for Cairn Energy PLC. He faces one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 11 substantive counts of wire fraud, which carry a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment.

Scott appealed on the issue of forum pursuant to the Extradition Act 2003, s 83A, arguing that the extradition ought to barred as it would not be in the interests of justice. Arguments were also advanced as to dual criminality and whether the alleged conduct had in fact occurred “in” the US pursuant to s 137 and 137 (3) (a) and that the extradition would infringe ECHR, art 8 rights.

The Court refused permission to appeal on the issues of abuse of process/dual criminality, whether the appellant’s conduct occurred in the United States and art 8 but allowed the appeal on the forum issue. It did so on the finding that there were “two powerful factors against extradition”, which were that “most of the harm took place in this jurisdiction and the appellant’s strong connection with the United Kingdom and absence of any significant connection with the United States”.

Mark Summers QC was involved in this case.