Australia extradites British man to Singapore on murders charges

Australia has extradited to Singapore a British national suspected of strangling his chauffeur and the driver's girlfriend, but only after authorities in the city-state pledged not to execute him, the government announced Wednesday.

In a statement, Justice Minister Chris Ellison said Michael McCrea was flown to Singapore on Tuesday night, ending a nearly three-year legal battle by McCrea to prevent his extradition.

McCrea, a former financial adviser in Singapore who is originally from the English city of Nottingham, is alleged to have fled to Australia in early 2002 after reportedly strangling his chauffeur, Kho Nai Guan, and the driver's girlfriend, Lan Ya Ming, on Jan. 2 that year.

McCrea had been in custody in Australia since he was arrested in Melbourne in June 2002.

Singapore police spokesman Victor Keong said McCrea would be charged with murder on Thursday morning.

Australian law bans the extradition of people to countries where they face the death penalty but "Singapore gave an undertaking to the Australian government that the death penalty will not be carried out if Mr. McCrea is convicted of the offenses of murder," Ellison said, reports the AP.


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