Former Lib Dem donor could face 'extradition to the UK'

 

Fugitive multi-millionaire fraudster and former Liberal Democrat donor Michael Brown is set to face an extradition hearing in Spain early next week.

Brown was arrested in the Dominican Republic in January and flown to Madrid yesterday where he was in the process of being handed over to British officials.

He fled the UK to the Caribbean after being convicted of fraud at Southwark Crown Court in 2008 and was sentenced in his absence to seven years in jail.

He was detained in the tourist town of Punta Cana over an unrelated fraud charge.

A City of London Police spokesman said: “Michael Brown was deported from the Dominican Republic and landed in Madrid on Saturday morning, accompanied by officers from the Dominican Republic.

“City of London Police will be taking the appropriate steps to bring him back to the UK, via a European Arrest Warrant.”

Detective Superintendent Bob Wishart said: “The City of London Police is pleased that after four years evading British justice, Mr Brown is a step closer to returning to the UK to start his prison sentence.

“We hope that him facing justice will bring some closure to the victims who suffered as a result of his frauds.”

A spokesman for the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) said: “The process would be for an individual to be taken to Madrid for an extradition hearing.

“Once that extradition is agreed there's a 10-day period for him to be extradited to the UK. We would expect the process to start early next week.”

Brown donated about £2.4 million to the Lib Dems ahead of the 2005 general election, its largest donation to date.

He had been living on the Caribbean island under the name of Darren Nally, officials in the Caribbean said.

An international manhunt was launched when Brown went on the run after stealing nearly £8 million from the former chairman of Manchester United.

He posed as a highly successful bond dealer and claimed connections with royalty to steal the money from Martin Edwards.

He secretly used investors' money to fund the record donation to the Lib Dems' election war chest and also blew a large slice of his ill-gotten gains on an “extravagant” lifestyle.

Dominican police said Brown was also charged with defrauding people in Punta Cana, but the alleged victims dropped their complaints so he could be extradited.

An Electoral Commission inquiry in 2009 found the Lib Dems accepted the fraudster's donation in good faith and cleared the party of all wrongdoing.

A Lib Dem party spokesman said: “We completely welcome any further steps to bring this man to justice.”

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks