Minister Damian Green ‘standing in way of justice’ on extradition
Immigration minister Damian Green has come under fire from MPs after refusing to meet a cross-party delegation to discuss concerns about extradition arrangements with the United States.
Mr Green told the group – led by Green Party leader Caroline Lucas and including shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan – it would be inappropriate to discuss cases that remained under review.
But Ms Lucas accused him of “standing in the way of justice” and questioned why he had met the mother of Gary McKinnon, whom the US authorities want to try for hacking military computers.
Critics of the 2003 Extradition Act say it is heavily one-sided against the rights of UK citizens, and ministers are examining potential changes.
But an independent review carried out last year by former Court of Appeal judge, Sir Scott Baker, found it to be both balanced and fair.
Ms Lucas wrote to Mr Green on 27 June, requesting a meeting with MPs who attended a Commons event to discuss the issues – with three other high-profile cases also pending. She said the group, including Tory Zac Goldsmith and Labour’s John McDonnell, were anxious to prevent “grave miscarriages of justice”.
But the minister said that while the government was giving “most careful consideration” to the controversy over the legislation, that could not be allowed to delay the outcome of the cases.
The Green Party leader said: “I am outraged by the government’s lack of concern both for the democratic process and for the individuals and families that are suffering because of the current extradition laws.
“The minister has used pending court cases and decisions to be taken by the Home Secretary as grounds for refusing to discuss the matter with MPs.”
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