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Lords question people with personal experience of extradition in final evidence session of inquiry


In the final evidence session of its inquiry, the House of Lords Select Committee charged with investigating Extradition Law will question a member of the NatWest Three extradited to the US and a Polish man who was returned to Poland on an EAW.

David Bermingham was one of three British bankers extradited to the United States of America following charges of wire fraud whilst working for a division of the National Westminster Bank. They pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 37 months imprisonment, which they partly served in Texas before being moved to a prison in the UK. In the course of their case all three argued that they ought to have been prosecuted in the UK rather than the US.

At 10.10am, the Committee will question Mr Birmingham about his experiences, the question of forum in extradition law, the human rights bar and the transfer of his sentence to the UK.

Later in the day, at 1pm, the Committee will speak to Marisuz Wolkowicz, a Polish man living in the UK, who had a European Arrest Warrant issued against him in relation to a number of serious offences. He will be joined in the session by the solicitor who represented him during the extradition proceedings, William Bergstrom.

The Committee are likely to ask questions about the case including:

  • whether the case was funded by legal aid and, if so, Mr Wolkowicz's experience of applying for legal aid, and whether he had legal representation in Poland as well as the UK;
  • how the medical considerations he raised were dealt with by the UK courts;
  • what assurances were given by Poland and the extent to which he and his legal team were informed about the nature of the assurances; and
  • his experience once he was returned to Poland.

The evidence sessions will take place on Wednesday 21 January at 10.10am and 1pm in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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