After 8 months in Saudi Arabia, Christopher Emms has finally won his extradition battle.
British national Chris Emms has been released from his travel ban in Saudi Arabia, following intensive efforts by Radha Stirling, CEO of Due Process International; and the continuous support of the British government. “We are relieved that the Saudi authorities ultimately rejected the American extradition request, which has no sound legal basis; and we deeply appreciate British intervention in this case, and the cooperation established with the Saudis,” Stirling said in a statement today.
Emms is a crypto-technology pioneer bizarrely accused by the United States of violating American sanctions against North Korea for his participation in a 2018 conference in Pyongyang. Upon his release from Saudi Arabia, Chris embarked for Russia, fearing that the UK would likely acquiesce to the extradition request if he returned home. Although he would seek to defend an extradition on the basis of a lack of dual criminality and would likely win, it is clear that the UK is impotent against US pressure with looming trade deals in negotiation.
While the official case against Emms alleges that he breached the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by discussing cryptocurrency systems in North Korea, observers contend that the US is simply cracking down on the independent cryptosphere ahead of a planned launch of government-controlled CBDCs. “Chris is not an American citizen and is not accountable to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC),” Stirling explained, “He cannot be reasonably prosecuted for violating American sanctions on North Korea any more than he could be prosecuted for breaking the Illinois speed limit while driving on the Autobahn. This is a politically-driven witch hunt against crypto entrepreneurs and the existence of decentralised finance”
No foreign national has ever been successfully prosecuted for violating IEEPA without the accused being intimidated into a plea bargain. “Chris offered to cooperate with the US authorities,” Stirling said, “Precisely because he did nothing wrong; he provided no information to North Korea that doesn’t already appear on the first page of Google. At the end of the day, the Americans know that the IEEPA does not apply to Chris, and he is not going to be coerced into a plea deal.”
“Unfortunately, as a result of the Julian Assange case, Chris could not be confident that the UK would protect him against wrongful prosecution and extradition. He is now safely in Russia and we are relieved that he is a free man once again. However, the charges remain, the case continues. Chris is still subject to an abusive Red Notice on Interpol; we will continue to support him and fight for his delisting to ensure he will never be deprived of his freedom again, simply for helping to provide the world with an alternative to state-controlled monetary policies and corporate banking. A team of US lawyers will work to remove the abusive indictment and seek damages.”