Croatian Justice Minister Ivan Malenica has rejected attempts by Monaco to extradite UK whistleblower Jonathan Taylor on baseless criminal charges – and Jonathan Taylor’s Support Group thanks the Minister for doing the right thing.
The move comes following calls from human and civil rights campaigners across Europe – and UK MPs – for his immediate release and safe return home. Many legal experts backing the release of Jonathan Taylor said Monaco had no basis in law for the extradition.
Jonathan Taylor was arrested whilst on a family holiday in Croatia, last July and has been detained there since. He has been isolated, away from his family, and unable to support himself or his family, all of which have taken an extreme toll on his mental wellbeing.
In 2012, whilst working as in-house lawyer for oil firm SBM Offshore based in Monaco, he blew the whistle on an international network of corrupt payments made by his employer. Jonathan’s whistleblowing disclosures led to SBM Offshore paying over $800 million in fines in the US, Netherlands and Brazil as well as successful prosecutions for fraud related offences.
Yet nine years later, he was arrested on a questionable Interpol Red Notice whilst on holiday, and wanted for questioning in Monaco, over allegations made by his former employer over his settlement. Jonathan denies wrongdoing, and his lawyers stated there is no legal basis for extraditing him for questioning as he is neither charged nor convicted of any offences.
Protect, the Whistleblowing International Network, Media Freedom Rapid Response, Index on Censorship along with other civil and human rights campaigners has been lobbying the UK Government to intervene.
Head of Policy, Andrew Pepper-Parsons, said, “In rejecting this blatant attempt to intimidate a successful whistleblower, Croatian Justice Minister Ivan Malenica has not just freed Jonathan and his family from an extradition nightmare, but reassured future whistleblowers that they have allies among politicians. We are grateful Ivan Malenica has done the right thing – and grateful for UK MPs who have joined us in calling out this outrageous treatment of a whistleblower and the damage it may have caused had the extradition been allowed to go ahead.
“We wish Jonathan a safe return to the UK where he can begin to rebuild his life.”