‘America’s most wanted pedophile’ free after British judge questions U.S. justice
Failed bid to extradite Shawn Sullivan highlights anti-US justice attitude
“They’ve always felt this way pertaining to death penalty cases, but now we are seeing it more in fraud and sexual abuse cases.”
The Fox News report says that Sullivan’s case is one of several instances in which European courts have substituted their idea of justice for America’s without regard for extradition agreements.
The report highlights the following cases:
- In November, Moses denied extradition for former Iranian Ambassador Nosratollah Tajik, who was arrested in London in a 2006 international sting operation conducted by U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents. After six years of delays, Moses discharged Tajik, who was trying to smuggle night vision goggles to Iran, saying extraditing him to the U.S. could hurt relations between the UK and Iran and endanger embassy staff in Tehran.
- A month earlier, Great Britain’s high court also blocked extradition of alleged hacker Gary McKinnon to the U.S., where he is accused of hacking into NASA and Pentagon computers. The ruling cited McKinnon’s battles with Asperger’s Syndrome and depression in determining that imprisonment in the U.S., where he faced up to 70 years in prison, could constitute a violation of his human rights. He is now free.
- In perhaps the most high-profile case of a European court denying U.S. access to a fugitive whose crimes were committed on American soil, filmmaker Roman Polanski avoided extradition from France on charges he raped a 13-year-old girl more than three decades ago. Swiss authorities finally nabbed him in 2010 at the request of U.S. prosecutors, but when it came time to send him to the U.S. to face justice, a judge there overruled it, citing a technicality.
The report adds that under the rule of non-inquiry, nations that have extradition agreements typically are not supposed to second-guess one another on procedures and due process.
Bruce Zagari, an attorney with Washington-based firm Berliner Corcoran & Rowe who specializes in international white collar crime including extradition issues, explained the anomaly to FoxNews.com.
He believes that the policy of civil confinement and the U.S. policy toward detainees at Guantanamo Bay has prompted this new attitude from European judges.
As a result Sullivan, who has been accused of molesting children on two continents and married a British Ministry of Justice worker while in prison, can now roam free so long as he stays out of the U.S.
Zagari said: “The British court has nevertheless denied the U.S. extradition request because of its concern that, if returned, Sullivan would not receive fair treatment because the Minnesota civil commitment program for sex offenders could deprive him of his freedom and fundamental rights if the UK was to extradite him.”
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