EU, US sign extradition agreement

The EU is to sign a controversial extradition deal with the US, with the agreement being approved by the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, despite concerns raised by the European Parliament.

Its text should be initialled at the EU-US summit on 25 June in Washington DC. It covers mutual legal assistance, including the exchange of banking information and the creation of joint investigative teams.

EU ministers approved the deal after securing guarantees that extradited suspects would not receive the death penalty. They also negotiated a right to refuse extraditions if a request broke the European Convention on Human Rights, an exemption that might be invoked following US requests to hold suspects without charge at its Guantánamo Bay base in Cuba. European Parliament members, though, are still concerned.