Richard O'Dwyer Extradition 'Ludicrous,' Says Lib Dem President Tim Farron

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ODWYER
PA

Theresa May's decision to allow 23-year old Briton Richard O’Dwyer to be extradited to the United States on copyright charges is "ludicrous", the president of the Lib Dems has said.

Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said he wanted Lib Dem MPs to pressure the home secretary to reverse the ruling.

"While it's important to protect artists and copyright there is a question about just who is responsible for any breach [in this case] anyway," he told the Guardian.

"It is ludicrous and the government needs to take a very strong stand on protecting civil liberties."

O'Dwyer is wanted on charges of copyright infringement for his website TVShack.net after it linked to pirated material.

Speaking to The Huffington Post UK last month, O'Dwyer said he was "scared" of being put in an American jail.

"I have no criminal record and don't think I deserve to be imprisoned for what should be a civil matter if anything. In the UK if I was charged with any offence I would not be put in jail for such a matter," he said.

Timeline - The Richard O’Dwyer case

November 2010 - Richard is arrested over his website. His laptop is taken and he is bailed to return to a police station in London in six months.

May 2011 - O’Dwyer returns for bail and is informed the US want to extradite him on two charges which each carry a maximum five years in jail, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and criminal infringement of copyright.

January 2012 - A judge rules he can be extradited

March 2012 - Home Secretary Theresa May signs the extradition order. Just under two weeks later, his family launch a fresh appeal.