Dominic Raab has been urged to intervene to rescue a British whistleblower trapped in Croatia after falling victim to a “politically-motivated” attempt to prosecute him over his revelations of multi-million pound bribes.
Former Home Office Minister Caroline Nokes and Margaret Hodge, a former head of the Commons public accounts committee and member of the all party MPs’ whistleblowing group, are calling on the Foreign Secretary to take immediate action to secure the return of Jonathan Taylor to the UK.
Mr Taylor exposed a multi-million pound bribery scandal in Monaco and last week won a supreme court battle in Croatia against what he claims has been a “politically-motivated” attempt by the principality to extradite him on “flawed” allegations of corruption.
He was arrested on an Interpol warrant by Monaco nearly three months ago when he arrived in Croatia with his wife and three children and has been forced to remain in the country without his passport pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.
Lawyers for Jonathan Taylor claim the extradition bid and warrant were “revenge” for his whistleblowing which led to SBM Offshore, a Monaco-based oil giant, agreeing to pay out more than £350 million to settle allegations of bribery with the US Justice Department and Dutch authorities.
Despite the Croatian supreme court backing his claims last week, however, it set conditions requiring the UK to actively intervene to enable him to return to his family in the UK. The Foreign office said its consular officials were in contact with the Croatians but it is understood it is wary of a Croatian proposal requiring the UK to issue a warrant.
Ms Nokes, Mr Taylor's constituency MP and chair of the women and equalities committee, said: “This is something that the Government now needs to resolve to get a British national - not facing criminal charges, not about to be extradited - back home to his family.”
Ms Hodge said: “The British Government at all levels has got to do the right thing which is to defend a British victim who is a significant whistleblower being abused and treated outrageously. They ought to intervene immediately and say we want this man back in the UK.
“I am trying really hard to contact the Foreign Secretary to get him to intervene and for the UK Government to intervene but so far no luck.”
Mr Cadman said it was “highly unusual” and “illogical” for the court to uphold Mr Taylor’s appeal yet place the condition the UK Government to provide a statement as to whether it sought Jonathan’s return to the UK under the European Arrest Warrant scheme.
“The UK has thus far refused to engage as it was perceived to be intervening in the independent judicial system of a foreign state and the UK has a policy against such a practice. That is quite disingenuous and inaccurate.
“In circumstances where there is a risk of an abuse of process and/or a flagrant denial of justice there is not only a basis for intervention, there is an obligation to intervene.”
An FCO spokesman said: “We are supporting a British man following his arrest in Dubrovnik, and our consular staff are in contact with the Croatian authorities.”
SBM, which did not admit guilt in the settlements, has previously told The Telegraph it had dropped any legal action against Mr Taylor.
The Monaco justice department has been contacted for comment but has previously maintained Mr Taylor is being investigated by a judge whose invitations to him to come to Monaco have been spurned.