Scottish man loses ‘longest’ legal battle against extradition to US to face murder charge


A British man has lost a long-running legal battle against his extradition to the US to face a murder charge.

Phillip Harkins, 38, has been fighting against the transfer since 2003, in what has been described as Britain’s longest-running extradition case.

Harkins, originally from Greenock, Inverclyde, was indicted for murder after the 1999 killing of Joshua Hayes, who died of a gunshot wound to the head, during a robbery in Jacksonville, Florida.

He denied any involvement after being released on bail, returned to Scotland in 2002.

Harkins was jailed the following year for killing a woman in a road crash in Greenock.

In 2012, after losing a number of attempts to block his extradition, he took his case to the European Court of Human Rights, where an initial appeal failed.

Harkins had argued his extradition would violate articles three and six of the European Convention of Human Rights, relating to inhuman or degrading treatment and the right to a fair trial.

His lawyers said that if convicted in Florida he would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The court rejected his final appeal on Monday and ruled the complaints should be declared inadmissible as they were “substantially the same” as those considered in 2012.

Responding to the judgment, Hayes’s mother Patricia Gallagher told BBC News: “I really don’t understand how he was ever allowed to file that many appeals.

“That’s way too many and he said he’s a victim, and he’s not.”

She also said her son’s death had been “real rough” on her grandchildren, who had been brought up without a father.

“We keep Josh very much alive here. He’ll always be carried in my heart and my head,” she added.


World News


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