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The founder of British software giant Autonomy can be extradited to face criminal charges in America, a judge ruled yesterday.

Billionaire Mike Lynch, once dubbed Britain’s Bill Gates, is accused of cooking the books at his former firm before it was sold to US firm Hewlett-Packard for £8billion in 2011. 

The 56-year-old denies the allegations and has sought to block a request to extradite him to face trial in the US.

But District Judge Michael Snow, who heard the case in Westminster magistrates’ court, sided against him. 

The judge’s decision did not weigh Lynch’s alleged guilt or innocence but rather on whether he could legally be sent across the Atlantic under the controversial UK-US extradition agreement. 

Mike Lynch (pictured) is accused of cooking the books at his former firm before it was sold to US firm Hewlett-Packard for £8billion in 2011

Mike Lynch (pictured) is accused of cooking the books at his former firm before it was sold to US firm Hewlett-Packard for £8billion in 2011

Mike Lynch (pictured) is accused of cooking the books at his former firm before it was sold to US firm Hewlett-Packard for £8billion in 2011

It means the decision to extradite Lynch now falls to Home Secretary Priti Patel. If she agrees, he would have 14 days to appeal.

Mr Snow rejected requests by the tycoon’s lawyers to wait for the outcome of a separate High Court trial examining the fraud allegations, expected in September. 

Lawyers for the US government argued Lynch, pictured, ‘aimed dishonest activities at the USA on a monumental scale’ and should not be ‘immune from the American justice system’.

Lynch’s lawyers said the allegations related to a British company on the London stock exchange and should be settled in the UK.

Chris Morvillo, for Lynch, said: ‘If the Home Secretary nonetheless decides to order extradition, Dr Lynch intends to appeal.’

Source: Daily Mail

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