Saturday, July 22, 2006

Nat West 3: Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

So the NatWest 3 have been denied full bail and are not allowed to return to the UK. As a consequence they face bankruptcy. Do I not recall that Tony Blair said he had had a word with the Americans to ensure that they would get lenient bail conditions? No, my memory must be failing me. Tony's influence on the American administration is legendary, isn't it? Yo...

27 comments:

ian said...

While I don't agree with British citizens being extradited for an alleged crime against a British firm that took place in Britain, aren't the Natwest 3 all millionaires? How can they face bankruptcy?

Anonymous said...

You really have to weep for these guys hey?

http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,1820170,00.html

Enron established a series of off-balance sheet ventures to raise investment and hide losses. NatWest invested in one of these, LJM Cayman. The NatWest three, who worked in the bank's structured finance division, are accused of recommending NatWest sell its stake for $1m - allegedly for far less than it was worth.

...

When Southampton made its profit, Kopper wired $7.3m from Houston to an account established by Mr Bermingham at a Cayman Islands branch of the Bank of Bermuda. Mr Bermingham divided the money up, wiring $2.38m each into the personal accounts of Mr Darby and Mr Mulgrew and kept the rest himself. They allegedly received the money a week after resigning from NatWest.

...
The FBI has seized a series of alleged emails between the trio discussing how they were, in Mr Darby's words, "going to get rich". Mr Bermingham emailed his colleagues apparently discussing the need to keep the deal under wraps: "This is an attempt to head the obvious off at the pass and keep the lid on the thing. Large numbers of people are asking what we are up to. I hate lies." A further alleged email, a month before NatWest sold its stake, predicts a return for "Cayco" of "$7m minimum profit". Mr Mulgrew observes: "Its so much easier to focus when it's your own dough."

...

Poor, poor men. You really have to weep. How could anyone think that such a scheme is anything other than above board?

Perhaps we can hold two minute's silence in tribute to these honest, decent gentlemen, to ensure that we don't forget these wonderful people, and as you put it they are not 'out of mind'.

I'm sure the Enron pensioners will be along to pay tribute as well.

Tim Swift said...

I think you are changing history. When Tony Blair was asked about the Nat West 3 at PMQ, the allegatiion was that if they were extradited, they would be denied bail. TB stated that govt discussions with the US indicated that this was not true, and they would be allowed bail. He never said they would be allowed to leave the US. Would we allow US citizens on bail on serious fraud charges to leave the country - I hope not!

John said...

In all fairness, the American Admin hasn't had much luck with their judges, (seperate equal branch of government, and all)

beethoven writes said...

My anger when reading the judge's bail comments is only matched by my helplessness to intervene. The judge commented that the three were "a flight risk". NO, they are not yank! How could those three possibly escape the attention of the media even if they tried to flee? And don't they all have families in the UK which would mean it is very unlikely for them to try to do so? Mr Judge: The American reputation of appearing stoopid is alive and well....

As for Mr Blair, when The Hague tries to deport him for war crimes, I hope that his extradition case goes similarly smoothly too.

Cranmer said...

The fault here is not simply with HM Government.

'Out of sight, out of mind' is just as applicable to the Conservative Party. Dominic Grieve was full of comment when the story was on the front pages - what has he said or done since to liberate these men and rectify the injustice?

No, it was simply a bandwagon. Grieve should be raising this daily. It is appalling that British nationals can be arbitrarily extradited to the United States when there is absolutely no reciprocity.

vikki said...

Hey lain,
Did l jog your memory... ? Anyway its good to have this discussion back.To me its not whether they are right or wrong....guilty or not guilty....The main issue is has the treaty been ratified by the US? ls this 'treaty' meant to be for such cases as this...? if the answer is no,then we have a big problem with 'imperialism'.Yo Blair!

The Remittance Man said...

I know judges in the US are elected to their positions and many people believe that they are politically influenced, but I suspect a Texan judge would take a dim view of any political interference in his courtroom.

I suspect Tony's ideas of schmoozing and tendency towards backroom deals and so on would go down rather badly in the Lone Star State. If he did actually try and put in a word over the pond (and we have no evidence he did) I'll bet it did more damage than good.

RM

james said...

10.22 Anonymong,

Would it make a difference to you if they came from the arse end of a Lancashire mill town, wore beards and slippers and were being sent on their merry way to Guantanamo?

Funny how the scales of justice tip for people with more wealth in the eyes of some Grauniadistas.

Personally, I don't care who it is or what their alleged crime is- all are innocent until proven guilty.

dearieme said...

You'd have thought that Blair might have some sympathy with them: whether or not guilty of a crime, they are clearly guilty of a positively New Labour degree of impropriety.

Michael Oakeshott said...

They have been given bail, set at an appropriate level for their (allegedly dubious) incomes. They were never going to be allowed to leave America because they would have started more lengthy extradition procedures. Maybe they should have thought about that before they started resisting in the first place. Can't for the life of me work out why people are defending these three. One of them has basically admitted the crime. With the mood in the States as it is, these three are going inside for a long time, and I am glad.

Anonymous said...

In logic as well as in law it does not make a scrap of difference whether or not Congress ratified the extradition treaty under which the Nat West 3 have been transferred to the US.

The point is that Parliament did.

Don't you think there are more pressing things to concern ourselves with than three wealthy individuals who barely conceal their guilt and who retain PR and crisis management consultants to manipulate the media into whipping up public sentiment for an SFO prosecution so they can walk away Scot free?

I'm damned if I'm going to give the 'Nat West Wankers' any sympathy...

Yak40 said...

If nothing else these guys have run one hell of a PR campaign. I wonder how many members of the public realise that they spent four years fighting extradition all the way up to the Law Lords, and lost.
I suspect all the fuss is the reason for the relatively cushy treatment so far but consider if they got bail to return to UK, then balked at returning to the US for trial, would it take another four years ?
HMG doesn't want anything to do with it given their piss poor record at fraud trials.
If they were dope traffickers no one would give a damn so what makes them so special ?

Graham E said...

Anonymous 10.22...Now you've tried and convicted these three maybe you'd like to put the case together for Abu Hamzaa and his ilk.Some odd people, like myself, wonder at the ambivalent attitude of a government that is more than willing to throw these three to the wolves whilst harbouring (alleged) bombers for years.Or doesn't equality of treatment and Tony's much vaunted Human Rights charter apply to white anglo saxon males?

Rick said...

They played with Fastow and shafted Enron shareholders to whom they held a fiduciary obligation as recipients of $83 million in fees for NatWest.

If only the chaps in The City could get a taste of US Courts under RICO they would have a whole new view on life instead of the amateurish approach of the Befuddleed and Bewigged at the Old Bailey

nadders said...

It's not really about the NW3, it's the whole principle of the thing.

The US has just arrested the CEO of a poker on line business in Dallas using the information they now get on who is on flights, following "terrorist" laws. This coming from the source of more than 1/3 of the on line kiddie porn on the web.

THey are also using the same laws to get their hands on a computer nerd who was looking for alien records in the NSA computers. He faces 70 years in jail.

And the list goes on.

Once you get away from the coasts, the majority American attitude is not a lot different from what they would consider Muslim extreme-ism, but from a Judo-Christian perspective.
It is an ongoing disgrace that this Blair lot allow the US to get our people pretty much at will

Anonymous said...

Come on Iain. Yes, the treaty is wrong but there's easily enough evidence against these men for them to be extradited even under the old law. Why do you campaign for them when there's so much evidence of dodgy goings-on? They will almost certainly be found guilty and what will you do then? Campaign against the US legal system?

"Funny how the scales of justice tip for people with more wealth in the eyes of some Grauniadistas." - James @ 11.37 - that's the first time I've heard Guardianistas being accused of favouring the wealthy over the poor! You need to read up on your stereotypes.

I know judges in the US are elected to their positions The Remittance Man @ 11.06 - The NatWest 3 are, I believe, being tried in a federal court. Federal judges are appointed by the President, not elected (only Texan state judges are elected).

strapworld said...

anonymous reveals his true socialist hatred for 'rich people' Just ignore the fact that these people were extradited by a law which the americans did not ratify themselves!

On arrival the three (guilty in the eyes of anonymous) innocent men are cast in irons and handcuffs, but spared the hideous orange pyjama suits. But still had to appear before the court shackled. Dangerous killers these three, after all they are RICH!

That these three now face months, if not years, unable to earn money but facing financial ruin, wherevby their houses etc may possibly have to be sold. Then face an expensive trial and any unbiased observer (which I am not!)will not be satisfied to the fairness of the trial when it happens.

So anonymous we will be left with three broken men both financially and mentally and broken familes also. All British! where the British authorities did not consider it even necessary to question them or take them before our courts.

Then we have the wonderful americans who allow terrorists from the IRA, killers of our troops and innocent Ulster men and women and children live protected in their 'Land of the Free'Indeed the friends of the IRA in the USof A are saying that all we want the treaty ratified for is to get our hands on the terrorists living there!

The USA gets his history lessons from Hollywood films!

Anonymous your childish and rather romantic version of Marxism has long been confined to the dustbin.

I believe in justice. Justice, like the statue on the top of Old Bailey, is blindfolded. In America it is full gaze of a thousand camera's and where everyone is guilty before the case is heard!

They cannot expect a fair hearing there!

God bless America?

Adrian Yalland said...

I really don't buy into this 'Nat West Three' thing. At least, I do think that they have a cse to answer as they are alleged to have done some things which seemt o have been 'dodgy' and to enrich themselves considerably. Therefore, I don't exactly have much sympathy for white-collar fraud - at least no more than than street muggers. No crime is victimless. However, what this affair has done is shown that real nature of our relatonship with the USA. This is something that should concern us - and the rules of extradition need adressing. But I don;t think I am going to lose any sleep worrying about the individuals concered - even if I do think they should be tried in the UK where the crime alledegly took place.

Anonymous said...

strapworld - you're certainly the first person to describe me as a Marxist! I don't hate rich people at all, but white collar crime is still crime, and just because these people seem respectable doesn't excuse the dodgy dealings they are accused of.

Though I have to compliment strapworld's attempt to turn this on its head and accuse me of being anti-rich whilst the real uproar is because they are wealthy, hence the Torygraph's increasingly desperate defences of these men.

Yes, they are British, but in international fraud the country that hears the trial is usually the one who gets there first, the US in this case. Most of the alleged dealings took place in Texas or the Caymen Islands.

The rest of strapworld's post is an incoherent rant against the USA which I can't be bothered replying to.

I actually believe that this treaty is rotten - though I don't blame the US Senate at all for not ratifying it (at least they have the balls to defend US citizens' rights) - but the NatWest 3 do have a case to answer. The USA is very, very tough on white-collar crime and in reality just shows how weak our laws are in this matter.

Buster George said...

I read a piece on this in Mail on Saturday,

The defence team asked for bail back to the UK, Offering multi-million dollar bail, Plus offers to be electronicaly tagged and under uk police supervision, surrender of passport, the whole hit.

The prosecution produced a letter from the foreign office stating that this was not feasible.

Why?

We can release rapists, murders and muggers and keep an eye on them without tags.

At least that is what the government tell us. why can we not do this with three men accused of fraud?

Who would you rather have wandering the streets? the rapist or the fraudster.

THese men have been sold down the river by the spineless turd that calls himself prime minister.

Rick said...

http://tinyurl.com/qoowf

Recommend you read the above URL on the NatWest Three.........the Act they are being charged under is RICO

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

Racketeering activity means:

* Any act or threat involving gambling, murder, kidnapping, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year;
* Any act which is indictable under a wide variety of specific provisions of title 18 of the United States Code relating to bribery, counterfeiting, theft, embezzlement, fraud, obscene matter, obstruction of justice, slavery, racketeering, gambling, money laundering, commission of murder-for-hire, etc.
* Any act which is indictable under title 29, United States Code, section 186 (dealing with restrictions on payments and loans to labor organizations) or section 501 (c) (relating to embezzlement from union funds),
* Any offense involving fraud connected with a case under title 11 (except a case under section 157 of this title), fraud in the sale of securities, or the felonious manufacture, importation, receiving, concealment, buying, selling, or otherwise dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), punishable under any law of the United States,
* Any act which is indictable under the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act,
* Any act which is indictable under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 274 (relating to bringing in and harboring certain aliens), section 277 (relating to aiding or assisting certain aliens to enter the United States), or section 278 (relating to importation of alien for immoral purpose) if the act indictable under such section of such Act was committed for the purpose of financial gain, or
* Any act that is indictable under any provision listed in section 2332b (g)(5)(B);

Buster George said...

Rick, said;

Recommend you read the above URL on the NatWest Three.........the Act they are being charged under is RICO

Having read the description posted under this, it begs the question, why aren't Bush and Blair being chareged under the same Legislation?

it couldn't apply to teo bigger crooks

Anonymous said...

"Rico Act" - or come to that, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, all of whom have hugely profiteered from the Iraq war.

strapworld said...

Anonymous,

I am sorry you consider a country that allowed the financial backing of terrorism within the UK in such a good light.

A country that invited Sinn Fein/IRA to the White House to meet and drink with the Presidents of the USofA.

A country whose records on Human Rights is worrying and whose business ethics have to be seen to be believed. I know I have been badly bitten twice!

I, unlike you, do not have a rosy picture of the USofA. I do have many American friends who share my comncerns and most certainly do not back George Bush. That is , perhaps, because they are black and were denied a vote...so if that is ranting I am proud to rant. BUT dont try the usual guardian readers/cub reporters response when they have no argument either call you a racist or say you are ranting.

The 3 will not get a fair trial in'The land of the free'

jimthechimp said...

It doesn't matter if these men have done wrong or not; that is not for us to decide. Our legal system says innocent until proved guilty and there was a time when that mattered. If there is no reciprocity from the US, there must be none from the UK. Anyhow, this treaty was passed by the UK Parliament for alleged terrorist offences only. I guess the US Senate won't pass this treaty because of American-Irish lobbying; fearing that old Noraid supporters would be extradited to the UK. The US currently stands for hypocrisy and blatant self-interest writ large and the rest of the world can go F itself. I used to believe in the US but since it's replaced the Statue of Liberty with Guantanamo Bay, I have boycotted everything to do with it - including watching Friends on DVD. I fail to see what the UK hopes to get out of this one sided relationship in which we dismiss the rights of our own citizens as easy as we would a bad wine in a restaurant: a book tour for Blair post-Number 10 is my best guess as to what we get out of this one sided deal.

Colin D. said...

These 3 deserve what they get. They would get a "fair" trial here,[uk] probably under Hutton or similer?? hutton understands all about Duplicity
Strikes me there cannot be smoke without fire, or paper money.
sorry for the Kids though!!