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Ex-boss Ian Norris loses extradition appeal to US

24 February 10 12:29 GMT

A former industry boss has lost a Supreme Court appeal in his battle to avoid extradition from the UK to the US over obstructing justice allegations.

Ian Norris, the retired chief executive of Morgan Crucible, won a ruling in 2008 that blocked his removal on price-fixing charges.

But the US government pursued the 67-year-old over the related charges and was successful in the lower UK courts.

Mr Norris, of Berkshire, who is in ill health, made an appeal last year.

He had previously won a ruling at the House of Lords preventing his extradition on separate charges that he operated an illegal international cartel for carbon trading, an accusation he denies.

The issue surrounded whether his right to a private and family life would have been breached by his extradition, under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Prostate cancer

Mr Norris and his wife, Sheila, 65, have been together for 50 years and are both in poor health.

The court heard that Mr Norris was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000 and, although it was now in remission, he suffers from many health problems and was reliant upon his wife for his daily nursing needs.

But the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed his appeal.

Lord Phillips, president of the Supreme Court, said: "One has to consider the effect on the public interest in the prevention of crime if any defendant with family ties and dependencies such as those that bind Mr Norris and his wife was thereby rendered immune from extradition to be tried for serious wrong-doing.

"The answer is that the public interest would be seriously damaged.

"It is for this reason that only the gravest effects of interference with family life will be capable of rendering extradition disproportionate to the public interest that it serves.

"This is not such a case."

Mr Norris's solicitor Alistair Graham said he was disappointed by the ruling, but blamed government policy over extradition.

He said it failed to put in place the "basic safeguard" in which UK citizens accused of criminal conduct that took place on UK soil were subject to the UK justice system, and not that of another country.

He added: "We see the results of that as a 67 year-old man, in poor health, is likely to be extradited to the United States for activities said to have taken place in the UK and for which no substantive evidence has ever been considered in the UK courts."

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