The UK has to decide whether to approve the dismissal of Mike Lynch to face fraudulent charges in the US over the sale of $ 11bn to his software company Autonomy at Hewlett-Packard before the Supreme Court rules on other criminal cases in the deal.
Lynch is being sued by the US for falsifying Autonomy accounts, which resulted in Hewlett-Packard paying $ 5bn to supplement the company. He condemns wrongdoing.
His case here is against the Secretary of State, Priti Patel, after a London court ruled in July that Lynch could be fired. Patel twice delayed his decision on the matter, and the home affairs secretary’s lawyers asked the magistrates’ court in Westminster on Thursday for an extension until mid-March.
Rosemary Davidson, a Patel attorney, told the court that it was now possible for a verdict in the criminal case to be reached in January.
Davidson told the court that this was a “strange and difficult case” and that the clerk wanted to take his decision based on all that might be necessary.
The court heard that Lynch’s team feared that there was a “real danger” that U.S. prosecutors might be charged with new offenses or change their case based on evidence from the case.
But District Judge Michael Snow ruled Thursday that he would only extend the deadline until December 16. That means Patel would not have seen the Supreme Court decide the timing of the decision – although it does have the power to take longer than the deadline set by the court.
Patel has few reasons to block Lynch’s release. If they choose to accept Lynch’s dismissal, they can appeal to the Supreme Court.
Snow ordered Lynch’s release in July and denied his dismissal, saying he was convinced it was not a misuse of the policy.
Lynch’s case has great significance for British business executives, providing an important example for defendants. The UK-US extradition agreement signed by the US in 2003 has been criticized by lawmakers for burdening US favor. Lynch’s spokesman declined to comment.
The Home Affairs Office stated: “Additional decision-making process for each case may be made under the Extradition Act 2003. The secretary of the House of Commons considers the content of the case.”
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