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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 05:51 GMT
Enron trio seek judicial review
David Bermingham, one of the three bankers accused by the US of wire fraud
Mr Bermingham has criticised terror laws being used in the extradition
Three British bankers wanted in the US in connection with the Enron scandal are to apply for a High Court judicial review as they fight their extradition.

David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew and Giles Darby are applying for a review of a decision by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) not to try them in the UK.

The three former NatWest executives say they are innocent and should be tried by a British jury.

Enron collapsed in 2001 after revealing it inflated profits and hid debts.

'Long fight'

Mr Bermingham, Mr Mulgrew and Mr Darby are also accusing the US Government of unlawfully exploiting new extradition legislation intended to deal with terrorist suspects.

Earlier this year they said they were prepared for a long fight to prevent their extradition.

The US has accused the three men of seven counts of "wire fraud" - illegally gaining money via international banking systems.

According to the allegations, the men advised NatWest in 2000 to sell part of an Enron business it owned for less than the stake was worth.

The trio then left NatWest, bought into the firm themselves and sold it off for a much higher fee, pocketing about 1.5m ($2.7m) each in the process, prosecutors say.

The deal was reportedly carried out with the help of top Enron executives, including former chief financial officer Andrew Fastow.

The Enron executives set up a series of investment vehicles that generated artificial profits for Enron. The NatWest deal was just one in a complex web of so-called off-balance sheet special purpose entities.

Through side-deals the executives then diverted some of Enron's money to their own accounts.

In January 2004 Fastow pleaded guilty to wire and securities fraud and agreed to serve 10 years in prison.

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