Accused British entrepreneur fights US extradition bid
PUBLISHED: 16:10 05 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:10 05 February 2020
A Suffolk software entrepreneur plans to fight a bid by the US Department of Justice to extradite him to America on fraud charges - allegations he strenuously denies.
Briton Mike Lynch has been involved in a bitter, long-running battle with computer giant Hewlett Packard (HP) over writedown costs following the sale of Autonomy - the hi-tech Cambridge-based company he founded - in a £8bn megadeal.
Dr Lynch's office said he had submitted himself for arrest this morning (Wednesday, February 5) as a formality, required as part of the extradition process initiated by the US Department of Justice. He is contesting extradition.
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He has been under indictment since November 2018, facing 17 charges from the American authorities. Meanwhile, the outcome of a civil case relating to the claims which took place in the High Court in London is still awaited following a 10-month trial.
Dr Lynch's lawyers, Chris Morvillo and Reid Weingarten, said: "Mike Lynch has submitted himself for arrest, a formality required as part of the extradition process initiated by the US Department of Justice.
"Since HP first raised these allegations more than seven years ago, Dr Lynch has steadfastly denied them and has worked hard to properly respond and set the record straight.
"The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) previously investigated and did not pursue the allegations. Dr Lynch has now answered HP's claims in the appropriate forum, the High Court in London, where he attended court every day of the 10-month trial.
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"During that trial, Dr Lynch testified about all of these allegations for more than 20 days. He has not hidden, nor has he shied away from defending his conduct.
"Having patiently and diligently defended the case in England for several years, he awaits the civil trial judgment."
The lawyers argue that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) should not have started extradition proceedings prior to the judgment of the English High Court.
"This case has wider implications for British business. The US claims concern alleged conduct in the UK," they said in a statement," they said.
"Dr Lynch is a British citizen who ran a British company listed on the London Stock Exchange, governed by English law and UK accounting standards.
"This extradition request reflects yet another example of the DOJ's attempts to exert extraterritorial jurisdiction over non-US conduct.
"The forum bar in the UK Extradition Act was enacted by the UK Parliament to protect British citizens from such a scenario.
"Dr Lynch vigorously rejects all the allegations against him and is determined to continue to fight these charges."