Is it just me, or is Navinder Sarao, the flash trader accused by US authorities of making £26m through illegal share deals, being harshly treated?
Yesterday the young man, also known rather judgingly by the media as the Hound of Hounslow, was sent back to Wandsworth prison for a third time after failing to put up £5m in bail.
Sarao’s legal team claim he can’t come up with the funds because they have been frozen by the US authorities.
It seems harsh that the American regulators can’t vary the freezing orders so as to release bail money.
After all, the date set for any extradition hearing has now been set back to September 24-25.
That’s a long time to spend in Wandsworth prison, or any prison for that matter, before being given the chance to argue one’s innocence in a court of law, albeit a US one if his hearing fails.
The argument that he’s a flight risk seems bizarre given that he’s surrendered his passport already.
So why won’t the US authorities release enough of his funds for him to pay his bail? Maybe they feel he has not disclosed all his assets and wish to put pressure on him to reveal more.
Now Sarao’s lawyer tells my colleague Adam he’s going to the High Court to appeal the terms of the bail. The appeal will hopefully be heard within the next week or so but who knows how long this wrangling will go on for?
Sarao appeared agitated when he appeared before a magistrate yesterday in Westminster and no wonder. “How is this allowed to go on, man?,” he shouted in court.
Maybe, and admittedly it’s difficult to tell for sure, he has a point.