We will have a live interview with Richard O'Dwyer's mother on tonight's edition of "Off The Hook," to be aired at 7 pm ET over WBAI-FM and online.
The O'Dwyer case is of particular interest because of its legal ramifications. Richard O'Dwyer ran a website which contained links to other websites that in turn had downloadable video content, some of which apparently wasn't licensed. Linking to these sites is not a crime in the United Kingdom, where O'Dwyer resides. Nevertheless, the United States government is seeking to have him extradited in order to prosecute him. Incredibly enough, it seems they may get their wish. As of March 9th, the Home Secretary approved his extradition.
Julia O'Dwyer, Richard's mother, told the BBC, ""Today, yet another British citizen is being sold down the river by the British Government. Richard's life - his studies, work opportunities, financial security - is being disrupted, for who knows how long, because the U.K. Government has not introduced the much-needed changes to the extradition law. The U.S. is coming for the young [Richard], the old [Chris Tappin] and the ill [Gary McKinnon] and our government is paving the way. By rights, it should make for an interesting conversation between the Obamas and Camerons aboard Air Force One - but I'm not holding my breath. If Richard appears to have committed a crime in this country - then try him in this country. Instead, the home secretary wants to send him thousands of miles away and leave him languishing, just like Chris Tappin, in a U.S. jail, before he has a chance to demonstrate his innocence, under British law, of the allegations made against him."
(Chris Tappin is accused of exporting Zinc/Silver Oxide batteries to Iran and was extradited to a prison in Texas, where he's currently held in solitary confinement and faces 35 years if convicted. Gary McKinnon is accused of hacking into U.S. military computers and is currently fighting extradition from the U.K.)
O'Dwyer's case is particularly interesting since what he's accused of is arguably not even a crime in his native country, yet he faces a prison sentence in a nation that he last visited when he was five years old. The US-UK extradition treaty of 2003 allows for this sort of thing - in order to extradite someone to the United States, all that needs to exist is "reasonable suspicion." Interestingly, the treaty doesn't work nearly as easily in the other direction.
Julia O'Dwyer will be discussing her son's case, how it's affected their lives, and how they're fighting it. "Off The Hook" is heard on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City and at http://www.2600.com/offthehook from 7 pm to 8 pm ET. All shows are archived on our site.