The case of Hew Griffiths and the reach of US jurisdiction

If you think David Hicks is the only Australian that the Howard government has stitched up and gladly handed over the United States on a dodgy legal pretext spare a thought for Hew Griffiths. As Richard Ackland notes:

Hew Griffiths has been in prison here for nearly three years for allegedly breaching US copyright law. He has been charged by a grand jury in the US, but the offences alleged against him have never been tested, and the Australian Government has refused to resist an American demand to “surrender” him to face trial before the US District Court in Virginia.

Griffiths was born in England and has lived in Australia from the age of 7. His crime was breaching US copyright law via software piracy. The trouble is that Griffiths has never set foot in the US. He has lived all his life in Australia on the NSW Central Coast. He has been in custody for the past three years (he is 44 now) awaiting moves to extradite him to the US.

It is not a question of whether Griffiths is innocent. He has himself offered to plead guilty under the Australian copyright act. It is a question of whether the US is justified in demanding his extradition. Ackland reveals:

Griffiths is the only person, and the only Australian, in the group that the US is pressing to extradite.

It seems the Australian Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, and his department are only too eager to co-operate.

The relevant minister under the Extradition Act, Chris Ellison, has the power to refuse the US request. Griffiths’s lawyers at the NSW Legal Aid Commission have written to Ellison asking him to exercise his power to do so.

There was a delay of eight months last year while people in the Attorney-General’s Department drafted a submission to the minister.

The NSW Attorney-General, Bob Debus, wrote to Ruddock in June 2005 making the same argument, that extradition is inappropriate in this case. These pleas went nowhere and yet there is no explanation why this man cannot be charged in Australia and why of all those arrested, he is the only one the Americans want in captivity on their soil.

The plight of Hew Griffiths is disturbing for a number of reasons and not just the kowtowing to the US by the Australian government. It also raises the issue of whether a person using the Internet is subject to the jurisdiction of other countries even if they physically haven’t set foot in the country.

The US has past form in this regard. While online gambling is legal is some countries it is illegal in the US. Yet business people who own Internet gambling companies have been arrested upon entering the US based on pre-Internet legislation.

As Jacob Sullum concludes in the Reason article:

If an executive of a U.S. media company were arrested in Beijing for violating a Chinese law against “subversive” online speech, or in Tehran for creating “indecent” Web content viewed by Iranians, Americans would ask what right these countries have to impose their illiberal policies on us. Sadly, our government is giving people in other countries good cause to wonder the same thing about the United States.

Not that the Australian government seems overly concerned.

Update [by MB]: Skepticlawyer posts on the legal issues at Catallaxy.


« profile & posts archive

This author has written 146 posts for Larvatus Prodeo.

Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

No responses to “The case of Hew Griffiths and the reach of US jurisdiction”

  1. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    I think this should be crossposted on the Catallaxy site, Shaun. I’ll alert them. I read Dick’s column yesterday and I couldn’t believe it. Griffiths has already served more time on remand and awaiting extradition than anyone has served for a similar offence.

    Furthermore, the US authorities say they will not credit Griffiths with the time served.

    This has been appealed to the High Court in Australia which has deemed fit not to hear the case.

    If Griffiths does time in a US jail there is doubt whether he will be allowed back into Australia as a convicted felon and thus being of bad character.

    I guess he will be deported back to the UK after he has served his sentence in the US althoug he hasn’t lived there since he was 7.

    The US has furnished him with a one-way travel document to the USA.

    This is Kafkaesque to say the least.

  2. skepticlawyer

    I’m doing a post now, Shaun & Sir Henry. What has got me flummoxed is the revocation of his bail.

  3. jo

    a nerd who was “downloading computer applications, films and games and then distributing them for free to other geeks”. “His screen name was Bandido and allegedly he agreed to infringe US copyright laws with others, including BigRar, Chevelle, Flood, Tenkuken and Evil Tea.”

    i’m gunna email my federal member – this is a fricking joke. thanks shaun – i missed the papers this weekend.

  4. skepticlawyer

    Post is up, folks. I’ve chased the legal angle rather than the political one, but it still stinks pretty bad.

    Oh, and trackback.

  5. Mark

    Thanks, sl. I’ll update the post.

  6. observa

    None of the Austrian’s business according to some
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21248376-1702,00.html

  7. observa

    The frogs take more than 3 years to charge Willy Brigitte in court and not a murmur out of LP. Let’s face it you lot are as selective in legal jurisdictional duck shoving as anyone else, especially when it comes to your empathy for Dawood Muhammed types and geeks abusing copyright.

  8. observa

    Whassamatter guys? Conservatives cottoned on to the art form the left made out of political lawyering?http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21233106-28737,00.html
    Tsk, tsk!

  9. silkworm

    Who is the plaintiff in the US?

  10. j_p_z

    “If an executive of a U.S. media company were arrested in Beijing for violating a Chinese law against “subversiveâ€? online speech, or in Tehran for creating “indecentâ€? Web content viewed by Iranians, Americans would ask what right these countries have to impose their illiberal policies on us.”

    The analogy is, well, silly. Nations differ in taste and policy about “content,” but most nations have a broad consensus about what constitutes, y’know, stealing stuff. The guy called himself Bandido, apparently. Perhaps that might clue you in.

    The extradition aspect is certainly peculiar, I’ll admit, but presumably it’s a knotty technical legal problem, so I won’t address it. Also, I don’t particularly like to see anybody go to jail ever, if it can be avoided (don’t they have stuff like fines, and annoying community service, and other alternative sentencing, as punishment for non-violent crimes?). One assumes that the deterrent value of the prosecution is what’s most being underlined here.

    Lookit, guys. This isn’t that hard to figure out. We export fancy-pants intellectual property, and if enough people steal it, we lose a lot of money. It’s expensive stuff to make, and if the return on it is sufficiently diminished due to piracy, it causes all sorts of problems. If I figured out a way to siphon Australian coal, lamb, and uranium out of your country electronically so I could give it to my fellow “nerds” for free, you guys might be a little annoyed as well. And a U.S. businessman who was using the web to, say, electronically embezzle money out of Chinese banks might indeed find himself in trouble with the Chinese authorities, if they got their hands on him. As usual with these things, it’s a problem of scale first, and legal matters later.

    I’ll admit that the cross-borders aspect of the digital age makes for some pretty knotty legal problems, which I guess a lot of law firms are just going to have to get rich trying to sort out. It’s also pretty crazy that this guy has been in actual custody all this time. If there’s anything to get outraged about here, it’s that.

  11. Graham Bell

    j-p-z:
    Interesting posts. But THREE blo8dy years! That is indeed Kafkaesque ….. or Brezhnevesque! Everybody can now shut their mouths about any supposed or mythical inefficiencies in the Italian legal system.

    It’s not just that it is brand-new digital-age problem either. There was the case of Douglas Bean, several years ago, of a US Marine deserting/being illegally absent from service in the Viet-Nam War and then settling in Australia and raising a family here. It should have been an open-and-shut matter: he either gets extradited to the US on the first flight tomorrow or he doesn’t. But ….. that case dragged on for centuries.

    And what’s wrong with all the watchdogs in the Australian news media that this current case has dragged on – with the defendent behind bars – for THREE years? Watchdogs? Watchpuppies more like it!

  12. Paulus

    I’ve just had a quick look at the Extradition Act at austlii, and it seems to me that there is no scope under that Act to be released from custody once the Court has decided that you are eligible for extradition.

    The Magistrate “shall” have you committed to prison at that point, and you only get out by either (a) successfully overturning the extradition order or (b) being put on a plane. In other words, there’s no possibility of “bail” under that Act.

    So it seems that the 3 year incarceration was basically the product of Griffiths’ own legal manouevres to avoid (b).

    Which is not to say that I don’t find it problematic that this sort of non-violent crime attracts such stiff criminal penalties (both here and in the US).

  13. BilB

    Wowwwww!!!

    The Yanks would never allow that to happen to one of their own.

  14. Enemy Combatant

    Writes Richard Ackland:

    “It seems the Australian Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, and his department are only too eager to co-operate.” ….with US extradition requests.

    This is Philip Ruddock’s way of DEMANDING that Amnesty International publicly present him with a shiny new AI badge ahead of our next Federal Election.
    An Amnesty International badge that sends a clearer message regarding Phil’s deep commitment to matters humanitarian.

    One with more candle power.

  15. Shaun

    Obby, with regards to the Austrian investigation in child pron, any Australians would be charged under Australian law. You’re weird, dude.

  16. Paulus

    There was an error in my previous post. When an appeal is made against extradition, the court to which the appeal was made may, “if there are special circumstances justifying such a course, order the release on bail of the person on such terms and conditions as the court thinks fit”. Why this was not done in this case is a good question.

  17. Guise

    AUSFTA includes provisions for ‘harmonising’ Australian and US copyright laws. The Australian Copyright Act has its flaws – and was until recently seriously behind the technological times in many respects – but overall it provided for tougher protection of intellectual property than the US legislation. It was at, or well above, WIPO standards.

    The problem – from the US’ point of view – was that these protections were afforded within a framework of civil law. Not acceptable. As a result, we have seen, with last year’s amendments to the Copyright Act, the first steps in a process that will bring it within the bounds of criminal law, so activities that would once have attracted a fine will now incur substantial financial and other penalties, as well as a prison sentence.

    Griffiths’ plight is appalling. He is yet another victim of the ‘special relationship’. He won’t be the last.

  18. Tony Healy

    There is a good reason for providing criminal sanctions in copyright law. It is to deter organised high volume copiers, who previously only suffered fines valued at the retail cost of the product they were infringing.

    For example, a computer importer might install 10,000 illegal copies of Windows, representing foregone revenue of $2 million to Microsoft, but only have to pay about $200 in fines when caught. Clearly that was no deterrent to systematic for-profit infringement. I use Microsoft simply as a well understood example, but the principle applies to all valuable creative works.

    As to the rest of the case, I agree it is sad. I mentioned over at Catallaxy that one of the virtues of DRM is that it helps prevent infringement, and thus the naive commissioning of these offences.

  19. Katz

    The delays in this case are caused by the Australian justice system, not the US Justice Department.

    The appellate court applied the extradition law with probity.

    The fault lies in the law itself. It establishes two tests for extradition:

    1. Are the legal papers of the jurisdiction seeking extradition in order? (They were.)

    2. Did the actions alleged of the accused constitute criminality in Australia? (They did.)

    Perhaps the extradition legislation should also include a provision compelling proportionality of punishment for the crime in the jurisdiction seeking extradition as compared with that pertaining in Australia. For example, Australian courts won’t extradite persons who may face the death penalty. That principle could be extended to long and/or harsh jail sentences.

    Like SL, I find the refusal of bail puzzling and troubling. Perhaps extradition legislation should also compel foreign jurisdictions to count time served in any sentencing.

  20. Legal Eagle

    Great post! I have linked it to a post of my own on the issue.

  21. Guise

    Tony Healy has a point, although I for one have never accepted the idea that each version of a pirated CD, DVD, song or program represents revenue lost to the owner of the IP. Like a lot of people, I have downloaded MP3s with ne’er an intention of buying the album – but then I’ve also bought albums because access to MP3s let me know it was worth buying.

    And treating every copy of a file, or every download, as a separate offence is just laughable.

    But there is a case for criminal sanctions where there is an intent to violate copyright and profit from the activity. The problem is that current US law and developing Australian law does not allow or encourage easy discrimination between a 14-year-old running a file-sharing site, and industrial scale duplication and sale of pirated software &c.

  22. j_p_z

    Graham Bell — I agree that 3 years is crazy and excessive; even any jail time at all, strictly speaking, sounds excessive. Though I also agree that the relevant arena should be criminal rather than civil; still, there’s got to be a good method for providing a credible deterrent, short of the barbarism of jailing people. The courts should be a bit more imaginative. Jailing non-violent small-scale offenders seems inhumane and stupid, as well as a waste of their (often considerable) talents. Maybe this guy should be extradited to Los Angeles, to spend two years living in a crappy Valley apartment complex north of Magnolia, driving a Geo, and working as a personal assistant to Jeffrey Katzenberg. That’d fix his wagon but good.

    As to the “organized” or large-scale offenders, doesn’t Australia have something akin to RICO laws against racketeering? If not, well, there’s a good way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon. Part of the problem, I’d expect, is that the burden of proof is so difficult in many of these cases, that that constitutes a net augmentation to the upside of committing these sorts of crimes. So that, when the feds finally get a case they can make stick, maybe they get excessive in the sentencing as payback for the 99 other failed cases. There’s probably a way around all that, but it’d take some serious and expert thought.

    “another victim of the ’special relationship’.”

    This angle seems to me like pretty short-range thinking. The technology is only going to make this stuff ever more complicated, w/r/t jurisdiction and so forth. One can easily imagine, already today, crimes that are committed in 14 different countries, from a platform of another 14, none of which the true perp has ever set foot in. Just wait til we expand the arena to include different dimensions, too. (Don’t worry, you’ll be hearing all about that in about another 4 years or so.)

    The companies affected are just going to have to get more inventive in the way they do business, and in the way that they *conceive* of business; best strategy would be to somehow get the majority of the small-timers on your side, bring them into the fold so they no longer want to do this stuff. You don’t even have to let them know that that’s what you’re doing, if you go about it wisely.

    But maybe it’s also time for a comprehensive overhaul of international law, or treaties, or copyright conventions, or whatever’s relevant, to reflect the new Amazon rain forest of integrated tech. Just so long as Kofi Annan isn’t allowed anywhere near the meetings…

  23. j_p_z

    “in about another 4 years or so…”

    Should read, ‘in about another 4 “years” or so.’ Pretty soon, they’ll be called “time-boxes,” and they’ll be very malleable, with lots of directionality. The concept of “time” is shortly going to be sooo 20th-cent. (“years”! how quaint! whatever does *that* mean?)

  24. silkworm

    Who are the plaintiffs in this matter? If we can identify them, we can organize a boycott against their products, damage them financially, or otherwise embarrass them, thereby pressuring them to drop the charges against Mr Griffiths.

    An assault against one of us is an assault against us all.

    Free Hew now.

  25. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    This is not about justice but about exemplary punishment. Generally naifs without what Americans call “juice”* get caught and serve as convenient fodder as a poster to deter others. This is as true about Griffiths as it is of Hicks and Habib.

    Absurdly draconian treatment serves as propaganda because it generates publicity and hence the interests of the plaintiffs.

    The extra-judicial punishment and collateral harshness (which can be blamed on lawyers seeking just treatment but by so doing extending the time on remand) is grist for the publicity mill. The plaintiffs, invariably corporations, are not concerned with humane treatment. There are many instances of corporations acting as psychopaths without feelings or guilt – see link .

    In this case the grossness of the treatment of this individual includes depriving him of his home of 30 odd years – he will not be admitted to Australia after his US punishment is concluded because he does not have an Australian passport.

    The only person now that can ameliorate the injustice of this case is Phil Ruddock. But this is, of course, a very very forlorn hope.

    * For a precedent where juice was applied please recall the case of Patricia Campbell Hearst, the heiress to the eponymous newspaper fortune. In 1974, she was kidnapped by a radical urban guerrilla group the Symbionese Liberation Army, but then in a case of the Stockholm syndrome joined her captors in furthering their cause, including posing with a submachine gun for publicity photos and taking on a nom de guerre of “Tanya”. She took part in a bank robbery with other SLA members and was captured, tried, did a soft two years before her sentence was commuted by Jimmy Carter.

  26. Katz

    Point taken, Sir Hank.

    However, give the devil his due.

    The US Justice Department probably took a look at Australian extradition legislation and perceived, as any group of competent professionals would, that they had an easy victory in re Huw Griffiths.

    Given the likelihood of being able to pry Griffiths away from his country of residence, then it serves the interests of the JD to spruik Griffiths as the Dr Evil of this pirating outfit. In orchardists’ terms Griffiths is low-hanging fruit.

  27. The Devil Drink

    give the devil his due

    I’ll send you the bill Katz, but leave me outta this one.

  28. Kimberlee

    “The Yanks would never allow that to happen to one of their own”

    Really? You don’t think that if a country like Australia was offering to prosecute, criminally, an American for copyright infringement the American authorities wouldn’t be enthusiastically along for the ride? (although their courts might not be quite so enthusiastic, judging from US Courts’ attitudes on the Guantanamo issues. Ah, what it is to have actual rights protected by an actual Bill of Rights…)

  29. Darryl Rosin

    “a computer importer might install 10,000 illegal copies of Windows, representing foregone revenue of $2 million to Microsoft, but only have to pay about $200 in fines when caught.”

    I’m not sure that’s correct, but you’ve also left out the fact that MS could take civil action against the violators for losses and damages. Action for Trademark violations are also available.

    “one of the virtues of DRM is that it helps prevent infringement, and thus the naive commissioning of these offences.”

    That’s completely backwards. DRM also restricts the existing rights that people have to make use of copyrighted work. This leads people to bypass DRM in order to affect legitmate uses and makes it *more* likely they’ll find themselves strictly or recklessly liable for something or other.

    Guise: “And treating every copy of a file, or every download, as a separate offence is just laughable.”

    The “unauthorised copies” includes the soft copy made every time to listen/watch an unauthorised file. Rip a CD to itunes, put it on your iPod and listen to it 10 times = 11 offenses (Once for the iPod’s mass storage and one per listen). Now *that’s* what I call humor.

    d

  30. Maozze

    I wonder what would happen if Australia charged someone (say, a visiting Vice President) with violating Australian gun laws beyond our jurisdiction (say, shooting aged lawyers), then held said “perp” without bail for an extended period?

    Now I’m just fantasizing.

    Forget I mentioned it.

  31. Fruitfly

    Sounds like this case could be another abuse of due process languishing under the present government. About time the media looked into it. How many more are there?

  32. KC

    Look at the indictment handed down against Hew Griffiths. He’s charged with conspiracy and that of copyright infringement. Under U.S. law to convict a defendant of criminal infringement, the government must prove;
    (1) A valid copyright exists
    (2) It was infringed
    (3) The infringement was willful
    (4) Either (a)the infringement was for commericail advantage or private fincial gain, or (b) the infringed works retail value exceeded the statutory thresholds.

    Nowhere in the indictment is there any mention of specific copyrights and who the owner of said copyrights are. How then can the Australian government consider this indictment as any sort of proof that a crime had been commited.

    The main evidence against him being, that the U.S. Customs agency had an informant within the group. This informant was not only given immunity but was also paid the sum of $104.00 US per hour for his efforts in identifying other members as they were only known by screen names.Funny how the US government is willing to pay someone to commit the crimes they are so hell bent on trying to stamp out.

    It is worth noting that the indicment mentions that “bcr8tive”, real name James Cudney, sent Hew Griffiths computer parts, who was subsequently photographed accepting the package. This is “ENTRAPMENT”. The same tactic was also used by “bcr8tive” to help identify the Swedish cracker of the group “Znip3r”.

    In short, the case put up by the U.S. government was extremely short on credibilty. Lets face it, US senators and congressmen accept huge donations from organisations such as record labels and movie studios and software manufacturers, and these organisations now want their “paid employees” to act on there behalf.

    What this current Australian government has done by allowing the extradition of Hew Griffiths is to undermine not only the Australian legal system but also I believe the constitution of this country, and for what to appease a corrupt and greedy regime that is the United States government.

    If Australia is to become the 51st state of the United States of America, do you think they would have a referendum to decide it or would the current government just do it?

    My bet is the latter.

  33. DoD Convict

    This just sucks, I’m one of the USA Drinkordie folks who were convicted, and it’s just sad that this is still going on. Poor Hew.

    KC, it’s ‘bcre8tiv’ there is no E at the end. Where did you see the stuff about James being paid? Did you ever see the article in the USAToday where he was featured as a model dad and Cub Scout den leader? such crap.

    You might need to double check your facts, I know that you have my sentence incorrect.

    Several us of had been sending Bandido hardware/etc, many of us had his address … the nasty trick was that James solicited addresses from everyone right before the bust to send Christmas cards. Turns out, we got something else on 12/11/2001, the day of the busts …

    KC, i’d like to pick your brain on some of the facts you’ve dug up, and I can help set you straight on parts of it.

    I know for a fact that Bigrar, Avec, Eriflleh and Flood are all back to normal lives, and have been for quite a while. It’s just doubly sad that Hew is going to be forced down the path of a plea bargain and not subject to credit for time served in AU. And for you Aussies, just knowing that our current crap regime can reach out and pluck you like this is a shame.

  34. KC

    DoD convict. I’d really like to talk to you about Hew as he was extradited last Saturday 17/02/07. Hew was a mate of mine and I’ve been busting my arse to try and help him. Any help would be appreciated.
    I’m not sure who exactly you are but I’d like to find out.

    How can I get in touch with you?

  35. KC

    DoD convict, check out – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DrinkOrDie

  36. DoD Convict

    not sure how to give you my email without giving it to everyone else.

    tell you what, if Shaun Cronin and you agree, have shaun give me your email address. I’ve been using one of my real ones in the Leave a Reply.

  37. KC

    Thanks DoD Convict. I have e-mailed Shaun with this request.

    One thing that would be of help is any info on ParisAngel, but not here.

    again Thanks

  38. KC

    So how about it DoD Convict, you still want to pick my brain? You still want to help put me straight on some facts? I could use your help. You have my e-mail address, drop me a line.

    I assure you this is not a “cudney” type of thing.

    I don’t know how else to prove this is genuine.

  39. DoD Convict

    I don’t have it … did site admin send it?

    sorry, didn’t check this site for weeks.

  40. Martin D

    I just found this site after Googling Hew’s name as a result of reading today’s SMH article about his situation. The obvious analogies with the Hicks case struck me straight away.

    Yes, we Australians produce IPR that is exported to the US as well. Is it actually possible for the Australian government to successfully extradite a US resident for illegaly copying Australian owned IPR?

    Further, what is the specific legal criterion in question here? Is it only the “country of ownership” that should appropriately apply due process to the prosecution of copyright infringement? I doubt it. The corollary would be that copying foreign-owned material was, in fact, not illegal in Australia. Copyright that belongs to a multinational does not naturally, in my mind, belong to any particular country.

    It sounds to me like Hew had, in fact, also broken Australian laws and should have been prosecuted under Australian law. If the Australian government didn’t feel he’d broken any local laws, then why were they so comfortable that he could properly be prosecuted in the US?

    If he didn’t break an Australian law then surely this indicates the need for Australia and the US to work on a more coherent international legal framework – i.e. modifying the Australian and/or US legislation for consistency. It doesn’t strike me as a case for extraditing someone.

    I can legally disable region-coding on a DVD player in Australia. Is that legal in the US? If not, then can I be extradited to the US for doing something legal in Australia?

    Either Hew broke Australian laws – in which case why isn’t he being prosecuted in Australia? – or he didn’t, in which case why is he being treated this way?

    Cheers,
    Martin

  41. Illusive Mind
  42. The Watcher

    The Americans would be the first to protect a National of their own country and would not under any circumstances give them up for software piracy. To make this young person spend 10 years in a foreign country in my opinion is a crime unto itself.

    The way I see it he could have served any time in OZ but the USA is now being run by big business and it just shows how far Corporations will go to get the last bit of blood from a stone.

    By the way, the Land of OZ should be ashamed for what it has done, when did the government of Australia become the lapdog of the American Corporate Control.

  43. KC

    Hew entered into a plea bargain a couple of weeks ago. This plea bargain was for the charge of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. The actual charge of copyright infringement was dismissed. This I feel raises serious concerns as to why the Australian government was so eager to have Hew extradited and to the due process afforded to Hew in his extradition case.

    The Watcher you are 100% right in your comments. The case of Hew Griffiths is nothing more then a political show trial.

    How about this, part of the plea bargain was for any sentence imposed on him will take into account the time served here in Oz. How is this going to work fairly given that Hew has already spent more time incarcerated than any of his co-conspirators. For example John Sankus convicted May 2002 and sentenced to 46 months. In Novenber 2002 his sentence was reduced to 18 months. Hew has already been in prison for 3 years.

  44. stuart goodman

    I am a freelance producer working up a story on this case. i am a fair way down the track, but someone has pointed me to this site.
    KC would you please contact me at the ABC, indeed if anyone has any real insight to offer, i would be happy to hear from you. Loose invective, mad rants and common abuse will head for the bin, I am really interested in contacting some of the DoD guys who were convicted.
    hope you can help

  45. FDB

    Stuart, if you contact LP admin they might help put you in contact.

  46. Patrick Bateman

    I wrote some thoughts about this episode here.

    I always find it amazing how opaque and ‘closed shop’ international agreements about copyright are. The one group never represented is the most important one – copyright USERS, aka ordinary consumers.

  47. mairi

    If Hew Griffiths is a British citizen, how does Australia have the legal right (forget about moral when talking about politicians)to hand over a British citizen to America? And what does Britain (who know how to protect its citizens from “American influence”) feel about this unjust bizarre treatment of one of its citizens?

  48. GregM

    If Hew Griffiths is a British citizen, how does Australia have the legal right (forget about moral when talking about politicians)to hand over a British citizen to America?

    The Extradition Act 1988 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ea1988149/ gives then the right to allow extradition of any person within Australian jurisdiction. The nationality of that person is irrelevant.