A Portuguese Court of Appeals ruled against a request from Switzerland for the extradition of whistleblower Trevor Kitchen, a British citizen currently residing on the Mediterranean island of Madeira. The decision goes against the wishes of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which sought Kitchen’s extradition to Switzerland to face charges of defamation. Kitchen believes the extradition request was retaliation from Swiss authorities for his whistleblowing on currency manipulation.
The ruling was issued by the 3rd Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice on June 9. It upholds a lower decision which was appealed by the Prosecutor’s Office. The Court determined that “the crime that is part of the extradition request (the crime of Misuse of a telecommunication facility) is not punishable by imprisonment of one year or more,” and that it is therefore not sufficient to grant the extradition request.
In 2011, Kitchen began blowing the whistle on large-scale currency manipulation. He exposed a scheme in which a major currency trader and several banks in multiple countries colluded to lower the values of the U.S. dollar and the British sterling pound for their own financial gain.
The Swiss defamation charges stem from emails sent by Kitchen in which he referred to a Swiss banker as a “parasite” and “plagiarist.” Kitchen had given the banker financial advice which led to a substantial financial windfall. Kitchen felt betrayed when he did not receive a commission for his advice.
Kitchen stated in an interview with WNN that the Swiss federal government’s pursuit of him “is politically motivated and institutes the abuse of process. It is connected to my whistleblowing activities on the currency manipulation scandal that resulted in billions of fines for Swiss banks.”
Kitchen further explained that whistleblowers in Switzerland are “exposed to vicious retaliation, not only by the very institutions being exposed, but more importantly, by Swiss authorities. Before being subjected to the usual aggressive and malicious treatment by Swiss prosecutors and judiciary, anyone attempting to report fraud are conveniently labelled as criminals and Swiss bashers. Swiss federal judges will generally imprison whistleblowers if they dare expose financial crime that negatively impacts the Swiss economy.”
Kitchen will appear on a June 16 podcast episode of Whistleblower of the Week. In the episode, Kitchen discusses the intense retaliation he has persevered through to this day for his 2011 whistleblowing and the personal toll that his whistleblower disclosure has taken.