The most common question I've been asked since Taking Liberties was released, (apart from ones about the bloody Nazi analogy) is "how is David Bermingham getting on?". Well this week the Texan court - in it's infinite wisdom - has postponsed the trial for the 3rd time, and the date has now been set for January 2008. The painful irony of this is that when they had their rubber stamp extradition hearing in the UK (way back in October 2004) the magistrate actually said that they should be extradited to the US, as to prosecute them in the UK "would cause unnecessary delay". The reality is that they could have had the trial about 50 times over in the time it's taken them to even sniff a courtroom in the US. Thanks to the hideosly unfair extradition treaty, they will have basically had an 18 month prison sentance and a million dollar fine (if you add up all the bail and legal costs) before they've even got to trial. If they had gone out and bashed a pensioner over the head to buy crack, they would have been treated much fairer.
Also, contrary to the misleading platitudes that emenated from New Labour at the time of their extradition, they are unlikely to get anything close a fair trial in Texas, thanks to the skullduggery of their ex employer. This is not suprising to anyone with a modicum of common sense, as the crime of which they are accused allegedly took place in Britain, the perpetrators are British and the victim is British, so of course it makes perfect sense to base the trial in the middle of an American Desert. The real problem is that in order to defend themselves the Natwest Three desperately need to call witnesses to prove their innocence, and these witnesses are where? (I'll give you three guesses but you'll only need one) Britain!
So the Nat West Three have sent a request to NatWest bank with a list of 36 people theat they need to give evidence in their trial via video link. Lawyers acting for Royal Bank of Scotland (which owns NatWest) wrote back stating that none of the 36 witnesses are willing to testify. This turned out to be a big porkie pie, as several of the individuals who were susequently approached directly, said that they had never even heard of the law firm, or said anything to them about testifying one way or the other.
So it looks as if if RBS is going out of it's way to make sure that the men are hung out to dry (what a caring sharing employer!), the US Justice system is doing it's best to grind them down with ridiculous delays, and the British Government is keeping it's blnid eye firmly turned.
But in spite of all this, David is in excellent spirits. Thanks to the wonders of Skype video he gets to see his wife and children every day, and he has got the best suntan he's had in years. Hopefully fortune will smile on them one day soon, and we can get them back to Britain where they rightfully belong.