Clause 193 - National security

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 21st January 2003.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 10:45 am, 21st January 2003

Yes, allegedly, and that should not be a bar to extradition. On the other hand, seeking extradition for the purposes of political persecution most certainly should be a bar on extradition. The issue that the hon. Gentleman is concerned about was raised by the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon. The hon. Gentleman followed up, off the back of a particular case, the matter of whether a Minister or an official in this country could be extradited and persecuted by a magistrate in a third country.

The Bill does absolutely nothing to affect the position on state immunity. International law has established that actions taken by the Heads of Governments or officials acting in that capacity are not extraditable. The Bill could not be used to extradite an official, the Foreign Secretary or the Prime Minister. The State Immunity Act 1998, the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 and international law cover those points. Nothing in the Bill affects either international law in that regard or the protection given by those Acts.