MP joins bid to prevent extradition of UK software entrepreneur

Software entrepreneur Mike Lynch Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Software entrepreneur Mike Lynch Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

An MP is backing an accused Suffolk software entrepreneur in his fight against extradition to the United States on fraud charges.

Greg Hands, MP for Chelsea & Fulham Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

Greg Hands, MP for Chelsea & Fulham Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS - Credit: Archant

Mike Lynch strongly denies allegations relating to a long-running row with computer giant Hewlett Packard (HP), which bought his Cambridge-based hi-tech firm Autonomy, for £8bn.

HP subsequently wrote down the value of the business, setting off a chain of events in the US and the UK, which resulted in the US Department of Justice seeking Dr Lynch's extradition - and a civil case in the High Court. The entrepreneur is still awaiting the outcome of the 10-month UK case, which was heard over 10 months last year.

MORE - Accused British entrepreneur fights US extradition bidDr Lynch submitted himself for arrest on Wednesday, February 5 - a requirement of a formal extradition process - while vigorously rejecting the allegations and the extradition bid.

Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham Greg Hands has written to the Home Office, urging the government not to comply with the extradition request.

"As Dr Lynch's local MP, I have been personally involved in this case and most recently have written to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, to strongly urge against Dr Lynch's extradition to the US," he said.

"This case involves a UK resident, a UK company and Dr Lynch is currently awaiting judgement from a costly 10-month trail in the UK High Court.

"There are valid concerns here about both the case itself and the Extradition Treaty, and the impact permitting the extradition of Dr Lynch would have on UK interests more widely. In particular, the grave implications it would have on British business, deterring entrepreneurship and others from selling interests to US investors."

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Dr Lynch's lawyers, Chris Morvillo and Reid Weingarten, said since HP first raised the allegations more than seven years ago, their client had steadfastly denied them and had striven to 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," they said, arguing that the US Department of Justice should not have begun extradition proceedings before the judgment of the English High Court.