Earlier this year the Obama administration kidnapped Ian Norris, a British citizen and former chief executive of Morgan Crucible, and forced him to stand trial on fabricated “obstruction of justice” charges. A Philadelphia jury acquitted him of that and several lesser charges, but convicted him on a single charge of “conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice.” Christine Varney, the head of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, which spearheaded the Norris prosecution, said this “conspiracy” conviction “sends a message that corporate leaders must promote a culture of law abiding conduct within their companies or be prepared to face stiff prison sentences.” To the contrary, Norris’s illegal trial and conviction reaffirms the culture of lawlessness that has ruled the Justice Department for decades, especially at the Antitrust Division.
Norris was originally charged with the non-crime of “price fixing” for business decisions dating back to the 1990s that the DOJ disagreed with. The DOJ tried to kidnap Norris from Britain with the cooperation of the previous Labour government but was thwarted by the House of Lords, then Britain’s highest appellate court. It turned out “price fixing” wasn’t a crime in Britain at the time of Norris’s alleged “criminal” acts, and therefore it wasn’t an extraditable offense. The DOJ, undeterred, then fabricated an “obstruction of justice” case to get around the House of Lords’s decision. Earlier this year, Britain’s new Supreme Court refused to stand in the way of the DOJ’s second kidnapping attempt, forcing Norris—who retired from Morgan Crucible years ago—to stand trial in Philadelphia.
The “culture of law abiding conduct” the DOJ’s Varney wants to promote does not extend to her own department. Indeed, the DOJ’s illegal kidnapping of Norris was made possible by a post-9/11 extradition treaty that grants U.S. officials almost unrestricted power to kidnap, imprison, and otherwise destroy the lives of British citizens at will. Dan Hyde of CityAM reported today:
The extradition arrangements between the UK and US are not reciprocal but one sided in a critical respect. The Extradition Act 2003 allows extradition from the UK to a country with which there is no reciprocity with the result that the UK must show “probable cause” for a prosecution when seeking extradition from the US. This is very close to requiring a demonstration of a prima facie case – ie that there is a case for the suspect to answer on the face of the evidence submitted. In practice this means the UK must set out the facts and circumstances sufficient to warrant a prudent person to believe a suspect has committed a crime. In stark contrast the US need only show a reasonable suspicion that the intended subject committed a crime by presenting an “information only request”. Any lawyer worth their salt recognises the test is far lower for the US and skews the arrangement firmly in the US’s favour.
One reason for the US’s refusal to reciprocate is that its constitution prevents it from extraditing a US citizen on the word of another government and without there being a reasonable basis to believe the person committed the offence. US citizens are thus guaranteed a level of protection that the UK does not afford and the UK has entered into an arrangement where there was never going to be reciprocity.
Further, while the purported intent was to deport terrorism suspects harboured abroad the cases and statistics reveal it has instead been aimed at suspected white-collar criminals, a significant proportion of whom were British citizens. The Nat West Three and Ian Norris, former chief executive of Morgan Crucible, demonstrate the point. Ian Norris was ultimately able to successfully appeal his extradition because the House of Lords held that the alleged price fixing was not a crime in the UK at the time of the alleged misconduct and he should thus not be extradited. Gary McKinnon, the computer hacker, is another who faces extradition and whose plight has exposed perceived unfairness in the arrangements. Far from focussing on terrorism the US is able to pluck whosoever it targets with relative ease.
The Antitrust Division has publicly adopted a racist criminal enforcement policy—dating back to the Bush administration but fully endorsed by Obama’s appointees—that targets non-U.S. citizens for harsher treatment under the antitrust laws than Americans. DOJ leaders understand there’s little risk of domestic political backlash in abusing “foreigners,” so the Antitrust Division is free to trample on the sovereignty of other countries. It certainly helps when the British government is a willing and able partner in the demotion of its people to second-class status.
The Norris prosecution served no legitimate “law enforcement” objective. The Antitrust Division already extorted millions from Morgan Crucible and its competitors through the bullshit “price fixing” charges. The Antitrust Division then spent five years kidnapping Norris, and now he’ll spend several more years in prison to satisfy the depraved cravings of the Antitrust Division’s criminal prosecutors. Norris is in his late 60s and has a history of health problems including cancer. The British Supreme Court decision extensively documented the terrible effects of the U.S. government’s campaign on the health of Norris and his wife.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind the Antitrust Division is trying to kill Norris—and possibly his wife—through its actions. They want a dead body to scare other company executives that would even think of contesting future criminal antitrust charges. A judicially sanctioned murder is more valuable than 100 coerced guilty pleas.
The new British government under David Cameron has recently suggested it may reconsider the state of its “extradition” arrangements with Washington. The Obama regime has already rejected any calls for change. If Cameron had any balls, he’d put his countrymen ahead of the “special relationship” and take action to free Mr. Norris and other British citizens that are being held as political prisoners. The Antitrust Division only understands violence, and that’s how Mr. Cameron needs to deal with the situation—violent retribution against the Americans who are responsible for these criminal acts.
UPDATE: Mr. Norris’s attorney corrected me. In my original post I said his client was convicted of “obstruction of justice.” The jury actually acquitted Mr. Norris on that charge but convicted him on the even more ludicrous “conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice.” Here is the public statement issued by Mr. Norris’s attorneys at White & Case:
We are gratified that the jury acquitted Mr. Norris on all counts alleging obstruction of justice as well as attempted obstruction of justice. We are disappointed by the jury’s conviction of Mr. Norris on the conspiracy count (24 hours after the jury announced an “impasse” on this count). But based upon juror interviews, we believe that the jury was confused. We intend to act quickly to overturn the sole count of conviction.