20 Aug 2014

Andrew Smith comments published in Global Investigations Review

Rabobank Libor case highlights “transatlantic disparity”

By Rahul Rose

Andrew Smith at Corker Binning in London said the disparity between UK and US authorities could be attributable to a funding gap.

“The DoJ has vast resources, even compared to the SFO’s blockbuster funding. As a result there is the danger that the DoJ identifies suspects at an early stage, and before the SFO has considered whether they could or should be prosecuted in the UK,” Smith said. “This can lead to an unfortunate outcome for suspects who would prefer to avoid US prosecution, which often ends in harsher sentences than those applicable in the UK.”

Commenting on recent changes in British and American extradition law, Andrew Smith said that the UK-US Extradition Treaty of 2003 removed the requirement for American authorities to provide prima facie evidence. As a result “virtually no weight” is given to evidence when deciding whether to resist or approve an extradition request in British courts, meaning people can be extradited on “weak” grounds, according to Smith.

“There are grounds on which a defendant could resist a request. For example, potential human rights violations or prejudicial treatment,” Smith said. “But the UK’s courts look very favourably on the US legal system. It is assumed that a defendant will be treated fairly in America.””


Read the full article in Global Investigations Review here.