Navinder Singh Sarao, the British day-trader sought by the United States’ authorities for his involvement in the 2010 US “flash crash”, has disclosed the basis on which he intends to contest extradition. Mr Sarao is facing 22 charges by the US Department of Justice, encompassing wire and commodities fraud, commodities manipulation and ‘spoofing’, totalling £25m. Each count carries a custodial sentence of between 10 and 25 years, or a fine up to $1m. The US complaint is here.
According to the opening note, Mr Sarao is expected to contend at his extradition hearing that:
- he has been wrongly “scapegoated” for the flash crash;
- his current imprisonment combined with the pressure to admit guilt created by a plea bargaining system constitutes an abuse of process;
- he has close ties to the UK;
- a substantial measure of his conduct occurred in the UK, and the UK is therefore the appropriate forum for dealing with the alleged conduct;
- extradition would breach Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights by exposing him to a “grossly disproportionate sentence of imprisonment”; and
- his conduct before April 2013 fails to meet dual criminality requirements.
A further bar on health grounds is “unparticularised”, pending receipt of a medical report.
Mr Sarao appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 18 June 2015, by video link, from Wandsworth prison. He has been in custody for the last 10 weeks, having been refused bail following a failure to meet his £5m bail security condition, due to a worldwide freezing order imposed on his assets. His two-day extradition hearing is due to commence on 24 September 2015.