A former soldier facing extradition to the United States over fraud charges says he is waiting for a call from the Home Office that will give him only "14 days left on this earth."
David McIntyre, from Tameside, suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and says if the Home Office gives him two weeks to sort out his affairs before being handed to US authorities, he will say goodbye to his family and take his own life.
"I'd rather top myself than go over there," he told the Huffington Post UK.
"I'm being accused of something I haven't done but because they don't have to provide any evidence, I'll be shackled and put into solitary confinement immediately for between a week and two weeks. I won’t be able to speak to my family or even work on my case."
David McIntyre insists he is innocent and doesn't believe he will receive a fair trial in the US
The 42-year-old is afraid he won't be able to clear his name if he is extradited, adding: "In the American judicial system you've got a plea bargain system and they'll sit a piece of paper in front of me and tell me I can either do 20 years hard time in a penitentiary or cough to it and do three years soft time."
Mr McIntyre is accused overcharging a US peace group for a security contract when he was running his own firm in 2009, amounting to fraud worth £65,000 ($100,000).
He denies all charges and insists his name was only brought up because a US official accused of similar charges was willing point the finger at anyone to lessen his own sentence.
He says although he was questioned about how well he knew the man in 2009 the company was able to continue the mission and as far was concerned that was put to bed. He subsequently lost his company by his own admission "through being a crap businessman."
He's only just managed to get back on track, though because of the things he has experienced while on military service, he is struggling to cope with PTSD at the same time as fight the charges.
He has been serving in conflict zones for most of his adult life, including Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
A report from the British Army's consultant psychiatrist seen by the Huffington Post UK makes for disturbing reading. It confirms he suffers from psychological disorder and warns that if he is extradited he could react "impulsively, dangerously and potentially tragically".
McIntyre describes the things he's seen whilst on service and how he still jumps when he hears a doors slam.
“I've been really unfortunate, in that everywhere I've been I've always been around car bombs.
"There was a car bomb in Iraq one time that killed about 200 people and that wasn't a particularly nice thing to see. You've got black humour you try to deal with it at the time.
"I've seen raging gun battles where people are killed left right and centre. Two weeks before I went out to Afghan again one of my best mates was killed in the army. Him and five others were killed in a tank but you try to deal with it. You try to switch off.
Some of the things he recounts still disturb him and his voice breaks as he describes how he saw children shot in front of him.
"One that really gets to me is seeing some kids killed in Iraq one time and I couldn't do anything about it. They were in a field and they were little girls just running away. They had their little black burqas on and you just see the machine gun bullets stitching the ground as the kids were running straight into them and that was that. It's stuff like that.
As a result of his PTSD he says he quickly becomes aggressive and "if I hear a loud bang then I'll be diving for cover,"
"My family take the piss and people think it's quite funny but they don't realise that when you've been bombed for six weeks, day in, day out, it just gets to you.
"I've lain there [while on service] just thinking 'this is it now, the next one's gonna get me.'
"I'm still very punchy, I can't tolerate people at all. If I'm in a confrontation or a situation which gets a bit heated, I react quickly and severely. Fortunately my missus is quite good at calming me down and reminding me I have to be normal. I can't just go around knocking people out because it won't get me anywhere, but it's because I'm feeling a lot of angst and I get angry quickly."
It's clear why the thought of being incarcerated in a maximum security prison in America with some of the country’s most dangerous offenders fills McIntyre with fear. Currently the Home Office is still considering his case.
David McIntyre in Iraq in 2008
“Every time I hear a police siren I think it’s coming for me,” says McInytre.
“This is me, a law abiding citizen, who has on numerous occasions, supported the police, whether it’s in the UK or abroad and yet now every time I see them I think ‘Oh you're coming for me, now aren't you?’
“It’s absolutely terrible. I’m normal for a little bit, getting on with things, then all of a sudden something will just send me back."
David at a Remembrance Sunday service in 2012
He is being represented by Kaim Todner, the same lawyers who took on Garry McKinnon's case. Mr McKinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome, was permitted to stay in the UK on human rights grounds in October, ending an eight-year legal battle.
Medical reports showed McKinnon was very likely to try to kill himself if extradited, despite being accused by US prosecutors of "the biggest military computer hack of all time."
Like McKinnon's mother, McIntyre is also deeply critical of the extradition treaty.
“What is happening to me could literally could happen to anyone and its not a case of it could, it is. I didn't know until I got onto Twitter how many people are facing this extradition process and how many people are requested to go over by America as opposed to how many come over from the states. If I was a US serving soldier you can guarantee they would say ‘No, tough, you're not having him, he served for our country and we're keeping him. It’s really frightening that they've got that much power.
"I appreciate why it’s come about, because of 9/11, but it's about time that these things got stopped or curtailed to a degree that is manageable rather than the UK government just going belly up every time the UK government is to say ‘I want them.’
Tony Blair's Labour government created the 2003 US-UK Extradition Act in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. The law allows the US to extradite UK citizens for breaking American laws, even if the offence was committed in Britain by a UK citizen.
British politicians and the families of Britons facing trial abroad have criticized the act as unworthy of the "special relationship" the US and Britain arguably share. Theresa May promised to bring in a “forum bar” to give a judge grounds to deny extradition in the interests of justice when the crime was committed here, however campaigners have criticised subsequent amendments to the bill, brought in in March.
Friends extradited say the new amendment was “designed simply to take account of prosecutors’ considerations when determining forum. “
At the time, Lord Rosser told the House of Lords “this part of the Bill is an example of how not to legislate. … This is no way to make substantial changes to our extradition arrangements.”
Hamja Ahsan, whose brother Talha was extradited to America on terror charges, has always maintained his innocence and continues to campaign for British citizens to be tried in the UK.
"I support David because extradition, under current conditions and David Blunket's law is disportionate additional punishment for the accused and a collective punishment for the family and loved ones of the family.
"I know this first-hand as my family goes through psychological hell.
"The plea-bargaining system which Conservative MP David Davis and my MP Sadiq Khan raised in parliament - where 98% of federal cases plea guilty - is intimidatory and alien, and ensures unjust coutcomes. The fact they are doing this to a British soldier who risked his life for the nation - exposes what the 2003 US-UK Extradition treaty is in essence - the ultimate betrayal of British Citizens."
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