British tech tycoon Mike Lynch fails in bid to delay extradition decision
By Paul Sandle
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is due to make a decision this week on whether to extradite tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch to the United States after failing on Wednesday to have him delayed until after a trial. billions of dollars against him.
US prosecutors want the 56-year-old to stand trial in the US on 17 counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the sale of Autonomy, the software company he founded and led, to Hewlett -Packard (HP) in an $11 billion deal. in 2011.
Lynch has tried to halt the extradition process until a decision in a London civil case brought by Hewlett-Packard is made public, which is expected in the coming weeks.
Last year a judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London ruled Lynch could be extradited and referred the case to Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Patel was granted two extensions, but a request for a longer third extension was denied. Lynch challenged that decision in the High Court in London, but it was thrown out on Wednesday.
The court’s decision means Patel, who also wanted to wait for the verdict in the civil trial, must now deliver his decision by midnight Friday, according to the ruling.
Extradition barrister Edward Grange, a partner at law firm Corker Binning, said the Home Secretary had only limited grounds to refuse to order the extradition.
“If extradition is ordered, Lynch is expected to seek leave to appeal,” he said.
If Patel orders his extradition, Lynch would have 14 days to apply to the High Court for leave to appeal, he said.
Meanwhile, a long-awaited judgment in the multibillion-dollar Autonomy civil case will finally be released shortly, about two years after the trial ended.
Hewlett-Packard is suing Lynch along with its former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain for more than $5 billion, alleging they inflated the value of the British data company before selling it. Lynch and Hussain have denied the allegations.
HP bought Autonomy, whose software searches and sorts data, in 2011, but a year later wrote down its value by $8.8 billion, saying it discovered serious accounting irregularities.
The US software giant said Lynch was complicit in a series of fraudulent deals to drive Autonomy’s revenue growth.
At a hearing last week into Lynch’s extradition challenge, the High Court in London was told the outcome of that legal action is expected to be made public within the next two to three weeks.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle, editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Mark Potter)