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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2006, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
Enron UK three face trial in US
(L-R) Giles Darby, David Bermingham and Gary Mulgrew
The NatWest executives say they should be tried in the UK
Three British bankers wanted in the US over the Enron scandal have failed in their final attempt to appeal against their extradition.

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected the request to postpone the extradition of the three former bankers from NatWest.

David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew and Giles Darby are likely to be flown to the US by mid-July.

The men have said they are innocent and should be tried by a UK jury.

Extradition Act

The decision came after the House of Lords decided last week to throw out the three men's request to appeal against an earlier court decision which had made it possible for the men to face trial in the US.

The men are now expected to be tried in Houston, Texas - the home of the bankrupt energy giant Enron, which collapsed in 2001 after admitting inflating profits and hiding debts.

Mr Bermingham of Goring in Oxfordshire, Mr Mulgrew, of Sible Hedingham in Essex, and Mr Darby, of Lower South Wraxall in Wiltshire, have been accused of seven counts of "wire fraud" by the US.

The three men are alleged to have conspired with former Enron executives over the sale of part of the company in 2000, earning them a total of $7.3m (4m).

The case has prompted criticism over extradition laws that do not require the US to provide "prima facie" or solid evidence of wrongdoing to extradite a UK citizen.

Britain however must still provide the US with evidence of "probable cause" if it wishes to extradite someone from the US.

The extradition has been possible under the UK's 2003 Extradition Act, which was established in the wake of the 11 September attacks in 2001, to accelerate the extradition of terror suspects.

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