March 14, 2012

Student To Be Extradited To U.S. For Alleged Crimes

Richard O´Dwyer, a 23-year old computer science student at Sheffield Hallam University is being extradited to the U.S. and faces up to 10 years in a U.S. prison for his alleged crimes.

O´Dwyer is the founder of TVShack, a website that acted as a directory of links to video streams found on other websites. He sold advertising on the site and allegedly earned more than $230,000 and had hundreds of thousands of visitors each month.

This is one of many controversial extraditions involving the UK and the United States. These two countries signed an extradition treaty in 2004 that allowed British suspects to be shipped across the Atlantic without their evidence being tested.

One case is that of 65-year old British businessman Christopher Tappin who was recently flown to the United States over allegations he sold missile batteries to Iran, which he denies. And also the case of Gary McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger´s. He hacked into the Pentagon computer systems and has battling his extradition for a decade.

Mr. O´Dwyer, though, does have other legal options before his extradition takes effect. He is able now to appeal to the High Court then eventually to the European Court of Human Rights in Strausbourg, reports the Telegraph.

O´Dwyer´s extradition was approved by the Home Office because the Home Secretary had no legal ground to refuse. There are four reasons to refuse, one of which is if the defendant qualified for the death penalty.

Mr. O´Dwyer´s arguments against extradition were shot down by the courts and allowed the Home Secretary to allow extradition. He claimed in his arguments that he would not receive a fair trial in the U.S., his alleged conduct was not illegal under British law, and if he did commit a crime why wasn´t he prosecuted in a British court.


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