A prominent Myanmar attorney and human rights advocate said yesterday that he believes that the UK, which has indicated it would be reluctant to extradite the man suspected of a 2016 murder in Yangon because Myanmar has the death penalty, should help bring the man to justice, pointing out that no one has been executed in Myanmar since 1987.
His remarks came on the heels of news reports that the Foreign Office of the UK would be hesitant to extradite Harris Binotti, 26, of Scotland, who is on Interpol’s most wanted list for his alleged involvement in the murder of Gary Ferguson of Northern Ireland, a fellow teacher, in November.
Binotti was spotted in Scotland living with his girlfriend and has since gone into hiding. Scotland Police said they could not arrest Binotti because no arrest or extradition order had been received from Myanmar. Yangon Police said an arrest warrant was sent to Interpol.
“If the UK respects the sovereignty of Myanmar, they should extradite Binotti because the criminal case happened in the territory of Myanmar”, said attorney Robert San Aung, a 2015 nominee for the Martin Ennals Award, in recognition of his work as one of the country’s leading human rights defenders.
Robert San Aung said the suspect in a murder that occurred in Yangon should stand trial in Myanmar.
“Binotti should appear in court in Myanmar. The Myanmar judiciary will decide whether he is guilty or not”, Robert San Aung said.
An article in yesterday’s edition of The Times in the UK quoted a British government source who said human rights concerns should be taken into account.
““In terms of specific engagement in this case, there are wider issues. One potential conclusion would be Mr. Binotti facing extradition to a country that has the death penalty”, the source told The Times. “We are being very careful that anything we do fully respects our human rights obligations”.
Binotti fled his home in Yangon after Mr. Ferguson, 46, was found dead in Binotti’s flat after a night of drinking.
Mr. Ferguson’s older brother said he believes extradition back to Myanmar should be allowed.
“I totally agree”, said Martin Ferguson. “He (allegedly) committed the crime in Myanmar, so he should stand before a Myanmar judge.”
Martin Ferguson said previously that his family has been in anguish over the inaction and are in shock that a murder suspect has been allowed to remain free, despite being tracked down.
The UK has no extradition treaty with Myanmar.
Mark Angeles &
Aye Min Soe