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Tuesday 12 January 2021

Mike Lynch faces extradition to the US

LynchI’ve written more times about the Mike Lynch/Autonomy/HP affair than any other subject. Just trawl the HotViews archive if you need a recap. It is undoubtedly a controversial subject as my ‘postbag’ after each article demonstrates.

But today I will not dwell on the merits of the case against Mike Lynch. But on his possible extradition to the US to face charges. The hearing on this is scheduled for Feb.

It is now a year since the civil case in the High Court finished. But Justice Hildyard has still not handed down his judgement. At the very least, no extradition should even be considered before that.

But Lynch is a UK citizen. Autonomy was a FTSE100 UK company quoted on the LSE. For Lynch to be extradited to face these charges AGAIN in a US court with the prospect of decades in a US jail is not only frightening but wrong. If Lynch is extradited then any UK reader of HotViews could face a similar fate.

If Lynch is guilty, he should face justice in the UK courts and serve his punishment here.

I am not alone in this view. Today a host of prominent politicians and business people wrote a Letter to The Times. They pointed out that the Prime Minister had accepted that the current extradition treaty was ‘unbalanced’. ‘We have surrendered sovereignty over our own justice system for too long. The Government cannot stand by as another Briton risks being delivered like this to the US’.

“Any British businessman or woman who finds themselves at odds with a powerful US company could face the same fate. That means facing a system where prosecutors cut deals offering their own witnesses immunity, while those who want to testify for the defendant risk being dubbed co-conspirators and prosecuted. This is not justice”

Puttng aside any views you may hold on Mike Lynch, I am pretty sure that the vast majority of readers – like me- would be against Lynch being extradited to the US.

Posted by: Richard Holway

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