Clause 193 - National security

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 21st January 2003.

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Photo of George Howarth George Howarth Labour, Knowsley North and Sefton East 10:15 am, 21st January 2003

I had not intended to speak on clause 193 or on the new clauses that are listed, but having listened to the hon. Member for Torridge and West Devon (Mr. Burnett), I feel compelled to speak because the third case that he quoted from the briefing that I presume he received

from Fair Trials Abroad is the case of Kevan Sloan, who is a constituent of mine.

In my view, Kevan Sloan was wrongfully convicted. He was arrested, charged, tried and convicted in Tenerife. At the time, although he was a tourist, he was visiting his mother, who is resident there. All the facts that the hon. Gentleman quoted are correct. Fair Trials Abroad is an excellent organisation—it has been trying to establish that the proceedings relating to Kevan Sloan were unfair.

I initiated a debate about the case in Westminster Hall last October, I have met with Kevan's parents and the Foreign Secretary has raised the matter with the Spanish authorities. Last week, his mother and father and some supporters presented a letter to the Spanish embassy in London, and his lawyers in Tenerife have made a deportation application. Kevan intends, ultimately, to take the matter to the constitutional courts in Madrid. I believe that he is innocent, and he intends to establish that. Kevan Sloan was arrested, charged, convicted and is now serving a sentence on what in my view is an unsafe decision of the court. He never came to this country. The whole process has taken place in Tenerife.

The cases that the hon. Gentleman quoted were not cases in which people managed to get to this country and were then subject to extradition application from the country in which the crime was allegedly committed—