Margaret Davis, PA Crime Correspondent
Wed, 8 June 2022, 5:18 pm
Former Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein is facing two charges of indecent assault against a woman in London in 1996.
The 70-year-old is already in prison in the US, having been jailed for rape and sexual assault in New York and then moved to California where he is awaiting trial over charges he assaulted five women in Los Angeles.
It is currently unclear what the route to him facing a UK court would be, but legal experts believe extradition could be possible.
Former head of extradition at the CPS, Nick Vamos said: “The fact that Harvey Weinstein is serving a lengthy prison sentence in the US is no bar to his extradition to the UK.
“Both the UK/US Extradition Treaty and the UK Extradition Act 2003 permit people to be extradited even when already behind bars, provided they are kept in custody in the requesting country and returned to complete their sentence once the trial is finished.
“If Mr Weinstein was acquitted in the UK, he would be returned immediately to the US to continue his sentence.
“If he was convicted in the UK, he would most likely receive a prison sentence here.
“It will then be for the UK and the US to agree between them whether he completes his US sentence first and is then brought back to serve a UK sentence or vice versa.
“Given his age and health, even if convicted in the UK, Mr Weinstein might not live long enough to complete his US sentence.
“Therefore, he might never serve a sentence in the UK.
“However, the CPS and, I’m sure, his alleged victim, would still say it was in the public interest to have the charges against him decided by a UK jury.”
The Crown Prosecution Service said on Wednesday that it had authorised the Metropolitan Police to charge the 70-year-old following a review of evidence gathered by the force.
It is alleged that Weinstein twice indecently assaulted a woman, who is now aged in her 50s, between July 31 and August 31 1996.
Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS special crime division, said: “The CPS has authorised the Metropolitan Police to charge Harvey Weinstein with two counts of indecent assault against a woman in August 1996.
“Charges have been authorised against Harvey Weinstein, 70, following a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation.
“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against the defendant are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.”
Weinstein is currently imprisoned in California and is awaiting trial on charges he assaulted five women in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013.
He was previously jailed for 23 years in New York for sexually assaulting a TV and film production assistant in 2006 and raping an aspiring actress in 2013.