Thursday, February 17, 2011

Criminal Process: United Kingdom High Court Approves Extradition of Defendant in Foreign Corrupt Practices Case

On January 20, in Tesler v. Government of the United States of America, a panel of the High Court of Justice in London dismissed an appeal by Jeffrey Tesler, who had been indicted in the United States on charges of conspiring to violate, and aiding and abetting violations of, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Tesler, a dual United Kingdom and Israeli national residing in London, had been indicted in the Southern District of Texas in 2009 for his alleged participation in a scheme to bribe Nigerian Government officials to assist an international joint venture consortium.

Tesler appealed from a ruling by a District Judge in the United Kingdom that the requirement for his extradition to the United States pursuant to the United Kingdom Extradition Act 2003 had been satisfied. The High Court (Lord Justice Pill) held that "[t]he appellant's acts in furtherance of the aims of the Joint Venture were performed outside the United States but that did not defeat the United States connection," and that "[t]he effects of his actions were to be felt in the United States and were intended to be felt there," even if "the eventual 'harm' may be in Nigeria."

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