M and Bell Yard outline NatWest Three strategy

M: Communications and Bell Yard Communications this week revealed how they battled to change the media agenda in a bid to prevent the NatWest Three from being extradited.

Their campaign ultimately failed – the trio await a bail hearing in the US today (Friday) – but the two London-based agencies were keen to stress their satisfaction that the broader issue of Britain's extradition laws made the headlines.

M co-founder Nick Miles, who started working on the case in February, told PRWeek: ‘It is not a matter of whether or not they are guilty – although they have always expressed their innocence.'

He added: ‘Our role was to convince editors of the validity of our argument: that Britain's new extradition laws have anomalies.'

The Extradition Act 2003  allows extradition of Britons once US authorities have outlined an alleged offence and provided ‘evidence or information that would justify the issue of a warrant for arrest in the UK'.

M senior consultant Adrian Flook said: ‘Most people could see that this is wrong and it needs correcting. It is far easier to grant extradition from here to the US [than the other way around].'

Litigation specialist Bell Yard, which has worked with the NatWest Three for two years, changed tactics at the turn of the year.

‘Originally we focused on a political and civil liberties audience,' said Bell Yard director Melanie Riley. ‘But we moved the issue on to focus on the impact it would have on the business community in particular.'

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