Britain allows student's extradition to US over website
Britain has authorised the extradition to the United States of a student who created a website allowing people to watch films and television shows for free, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.
Richard O'Dwyer, a 23-year-old student at Sheffield Hallam University in northern England, allegedly earned tens of thousands of pounds (dollars) through advertising on the TVShack website before it was closed down by US authorities.
A British judge ruled in January that O'Dwyer could be extradited to the US to answer copyright infringement allegations.
A spokeswoman for Britain's interior ministry, the Home Office, said on Tuesday that the government had found "no statutory bars to his surrender".
"On March 9 the Home Secretary, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed an order for Richard O'Dwyer's extradition to the US," she said.
O'Dwyer's mother Julia said her son was being "sold down the river" by the British government.
"If Richard appears to have committed a crime in this country, then try him in this country," she said.
The student would be the first British citizen extradited for such an offence. He faces jail if found guilty of the charges, which were brought after a crackdown by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
His lawyer had argued in court that the website did not store copyright material itself and merely directed users to other sites, making it similar to Google.
The lawyer also argued that his client was being used as a "guinea pig" for copyright law in the United States.
The court heard that after O'Dwyer was arrested in London in November 2010, he admitted to police that he owned TVShack.net and TVShack.cc and earned about £15,000 (18,000 euros, $23,500) a month from online advertising.
(c) 2012 AFP