Lord Chief Justice approves extradition of hotel chiefs

Simmons & Simmons have failed to prevent the extradition of two elderly hotelliers to the US after the Lord Chief Justice rejected arguments that the US government had exploited the 2003 Extradition Treaty.

In a High Court hearing yesterday (Wednesday 6 September) Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice, and Mr Justice Cresswell handed down judgment in favour of the US government over the extradition of Simmons clients Stanley and Beatrice Tollman.

The pair are wanted in the US on fraud charges. The US first requested their extradition in 2003, before the introduction of the new extradition legislation which has still not been ratified in the US.

The request was then withdrawn in April 2004, and made again in August 2004. The US claims that this meant the request is governed by the 2003 Extradition Act, and not the 1989 Act which was in force when the first request was made.

Simmons head of litigation Colin Passmore acted for the Tollmans. Last year a senior district judge at Bow Street Magistrates Court ruled that there should be an abuse of process hearing in the Tollmans’ case, delaying their extradition to the US.

However the Lord Chief Justice rejected the Tollmans’ arguments, deciding that the 2003 Act does apply and ordering a fast-track extradition hearing within 60 days.

The Tollmans may apply to the House of Lords for leave to appeal, but recent decisions in extradition cases heard by the Lords have gone in favour of the US government.

Passmore instructed 3 Raymond Buildings’ Clive Nicholls QC and James Lewis QC for the Tollmans. Great James Street Chambers’ Alun Jones QC was instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service, for the US government.