Tories press for UK trial of NatWest Three

13-07-2006

Tories press for UK trial of NatWest Three
The three British bankers facing extradition to the US on fraud charges during the collapse of Enron in 2001 should be put on trial on home soil, the Conservatives said last night.

The party is writing to Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, asking him to reconsider the case.

The trio are accused of conspiracy to defraud NatWest of £12 million.

A total of £6.5 million is alleged to have been kept by two senior executives at Enron.

Lord Goldsmith's shadow Dominic Grieve claimed extradition of the so-called NatWest three under the auspices of the Extradition Act 2003 could throw British justice into disrepute.

David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew and Giles Darby have already lost appeals at the High Court, the House of Lords and in Strasbourg.

In his letter to Lord Goldsmith, Mr Grieve says: "It must be a legitimate source of public anxiety that, where the defendants are British nationals living in England and the alleged victim is a British corporation this case is not being prosecuted here.

"I would, therefore, be grateful if you would give further consideration to this matter so as to ensure that these defendants have the benefit of our own system of justice and the British public the benefit of seeing justice being done in respect of them."

The three men protest their innocence and want a fair trial in the UK.

If extradited, the trio could face a two-year wait in a Texas prison before their trial comes to court.

Tony Blair told the Commons this week that the government would inquire into whether reassurances could be received to help the men get bail.


Related categories: Management / Business, Banking / Finance, Public Sector, Manufacturing / Industry, International / Overseas.


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