Tech Mogul Mike Lynch Fights Against US-UK Extradition Treaty Post-Acquittal

Tech Mogul Mike Lynch Fights Against US-UK Extradition Treaty Post-Acquittal

Mike Lynch was cleared by a San Francisco jury after an 11-week trial CREDIT: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch is gearing up to challenge the UK’s extradition treaty with the US, following his acquittal of fraud charges after a six-year legal battle. Lynch, the founder of Autonomy, plans to collaborate with former Cabinet minister David Davis to push for treaty reform, which currently allows the US to extradite British citizens more easily than vice versa.

Lynch, who was controversially extradited to the US last year, was found not guilty by a San Francisco jury last Thursday, concluding an 11-week trial surrounding the sale of his business. Davis, who spoke to Lynch post-acquittal, stated, “He said: ‘David, we’ve got work to do to put this extradition treaty right.'”

The former Secretary of State expressed, “This highlights a massively dysfunctional arrangement we have with this extradition treaty. I’ve always been pretty clear, in my mind, that this was a bogus case.” Lynch had faced a potential 25-year prison sentence over allegations of orchestrating a “multi-year, multi-layered fraud” to inflate Autonomy’s value before its $11bn sale to HP in 2011.

The Cambridge-based entrepreneur, once dubbed “Britain’s Bill Gates,” had consistently denied any wrongdoing and fiercely resisted extradition after the US government charged him in 2018, asserting that his case should have been handled in the UK. However, his appeal was denied, and then-Home Secretary Priti Patel approved his extradition in 2022.

Davis, who opposed Lynch’s extradition in a 2021 letter, revealed to The Telegraph that the entrepreneur is now planning to contest the UK’s Tony Blair-era extradition agreement with the US. Davis stated, “[This happened] in the aftermath of 9/11 – nobody thought about it properly. The Home Office didn’t think about it properly. This extradition treaty really cannot be allowed to live after this.”

Sir Vince Cable, the former Liberal Democrat Business Secretary who also supported Lynch, stated, “It is clearly a one-sided arrangement. Out of self-respect, Britain needs to put its foot down.” Davis had previously criticized the UK’s extradition deal with the US following the death of British teenager Harry Dunn, who was killed by a car driven by American intelligence official Anne Sacoolas in 2019.

Autonomy, a FTSE 100 software business, was sold to US giant HP 13 years ago, but the deal quickly soured, with HP writing off billions of dollars and accusing Lynch of fraud. During the trial, Lynch and Stephen Chamberlain, Autonomy’s former vice president of finance, were accused of artificially inflating the company’s revenues, but both were cleared of all charges.

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