EU Seizes Britons As Economic Hostages

EU Extradition victim – Ben Herdman, effectively an economic hostage.  See Daily Mail article below.

As they say, better late than never.  One effect of the new coalition is not simply that it has removed a blinkered, tyrannical, decade long regime from Downing St.  It seems to have also had the effect of opening the previously closed eyes of Fleet St.  The Daily Mail seems to have found its eurosceptic voice out of the blue, after years of Gordon Brown-adoring by Dacre.

The Daily Telegraph too has suddenly found that the EU with its authoritarian ways is carrying out serious injustices against British citizens.  British citizens are being removed to face imprisonment in other European countries over things as simple as traffic offences.

The EU Extradition Law was introduced many years ago – in 2003, the year of the Iraq War and of the crushing of Press freedom in Britain by Blair and Campbell – allegedly to fight against terrorism.  Yet seven years later British citizens, in thousands, are being removed to face imprisonment in other European countries, in many cases, over things as simple as traffic offences.

 Restoring the necessary monitoring of extradition requests might be expensive, but even in a time of stringency, the cost is worth it. The system was agreed on the grounds that all EU states have equally fair legal systems, so no sacrifice of liberty would be involved in an overseas trial. But it is pure fantasy to think that Bulgaria, or Romania, or even Greece or Italy, have legal systems that provide equivalent protections for the accused. Even if they are cleared, they will have had to undergo the trauma and disruption of being summoned to a foreign country to answer the charges, which are often relatively trivial.

As with the investigatory powers that are frequently abused by local councils, the European arrest warrant was created largely in response to the threat of terrorism, to be applied only to the most serious offences. That it has expanded to include misdemeanours such as traffic violations is a deeply depressing, yet all too predictable, example of official zeal trumping common sense. The Coalition was not responsible for the legislation that has created automatic extradition, and it has promised to “review” it. It needs to do so quickly – and to bear in mind that the best way to fix the system might simply be to abolish it. 
What The Telegraph doesn’t say is that legal processes in many European countries are merely regarded as a way to make money – by lawyers, judges and politicians.  British Citizens make good victims as by and large we have money, which is then spent in defending ourselves.
Why it took The Telegraph seven years to notice what is happening is something which we can only wonder about.  Fear of the Blair and Brown regimes by the media was real enough.  The coalition seems to have ended that.  The truth might at last be told.  Not before time.

Open Europe –

Number of people in Britain extradited under European Arrest Warrant increases by more than 50%
The Sunday Telegraph reported on its front page that the number of people in Britain seized under the controversial European Arrest Warrant rose by more than 50 percent last year, according to figures obtained from the Home Office. In total 1,032 people – almost three a day – were detained and extradited by British police on the orders of European prosecutors in the 12 months to April, up from 683 in 2008-09. The Home Office expects a further 70 percent rise, to 1,700 cases, next year.

David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary who introduced the European warrants was quoted saying, “I was right, as Home Secretary in the post-9/11 era, to agree to the European Arrest Warrant, but I was insufficiently sensitive to how it might be used.” A current Home Office spokesman said: “The Government is committed to reviewing the UK’s extradition arrangements.” In a separate article, Lib Dem MEP Graham Watson was quoted saying, “The European Arrest Warrant should not be feared. It is a crucial tool in ensuring criminals cannot hide behind national borders. It has brought justice to the perpetrators of murder, rape and terrorism.”

A leader in the paper argued, “We have every sympathy with the authorities’ efforts to track down vicious criminals who have fled these or other shores. But the price of speed and efficiency has, all too often, been injustice.”

It’s worse than injustice.  These arrests are nothing more than a way to feed a legal system hungry for cases and easy money.  This is simply an extortion racket, agreed to by Blair in 2003, and now creaming Britons of their savings by threatening to remove their freedom.
The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.

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