Tech entrepreneur fighting extradition to US faces wait to find out fate

BUSINESS - CHAMBERS
PICTURE ANDY ABBOTT 16.7.10
Autonomy Software entrepreneur Mike Lynch
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Software entrepreneur Mike Lynch, pictured on Ipswich Waterfront, must wait several more weeks to learn whether he will be extradited to the US - Credit: Andy Abbott

A prominent Suffolk businessman who faces extradition proceedings to the United States looks set to have to wait until at least May to learn his fate.

The US government wants to extradite software entrepreneur Mike Lynch to face fraud charges following the sale of his Cambridge-based company Autonomy to tech giant Hewlett Packard in 2011. 

The £8.5bn deal went sour and he was accused of inflating the company's value  - an allegation he has always strenuously denied. After the sale, the value of the company was written down by HP but Dr Lynch claims this was a result of mismanagement.

A week-long extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court ended on February 12 and the case was adjourned to May 4 when District Judge Michael Snow will hear further submissions. Dr Lynch is fighting extradition.

The tech entrepreneur - who owns a working farm near Wickham Market - is also waiting to hear the outcome of a civil case brought by Hewlett Packard in the High Court last year. 

Dr Lynch gave evidence for around four weeks at the long-running civil trial - which was brought by Hewlett Packard's Dutch subsidiary in 2014 and ran from March 2019 to January 2020 - and attended it on a daily basis.


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Mr Justice Hildyard is not expected to give his decision on that case before the end of March. 

The 55-year-old was awarded an OBE for services to enterprise in 2006. After he left Autonomy in 2012, he co-founded Invoke Capital, which invests in European technology companies. He remains a shareholder of and consultant to Invoke, which has offices in London and Cambridge.

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He has held a number of top roles, including as a member of the prime minister’s scientific advisory body The Council for Science and Technology and a UK trade ambassador.

High-profile figures including Suffolk's Lord Deben have signed a letter opposing the tech entrepreneur's extradition to the US.

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