2 November 2010
Today Leigh Day & Co will commence judicial review proceedings against Business Secretary Vince Cable on behalf of Edmund Zagorski, a US prisoner facing execution in Tennessee. Mr Cable has refused to impose export controls on a drug from the UK that is essential for his execution.
Mr Zagorski’s US lawyers contacted Clive Stafford Smith of the legal action charity Reprieve for assistance: they believe that the State of Tennessee is planning to purchase the Sodium Thiopental needed to execute Mr Zagorski from a UK based company. Supplies of the drug have run out in the US and unless stocks are imported Mr Zagorski’s planned execution will not take place as planned on 11 January 2011.
Last Thursday 28 October, Leigh Day & Co wrote to Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills asking him to take emergency steps to prevent the export of the drug in view of the serious risk of its use in Mr Zagorski’s execution.
Yesterday, Monday, November 1 Mr. Cable refused to impose export controls on the drug, because if the US did not get the drug from the UK it would just go elsewhere. Mr. Cable also said he was unwilling to interfere because Sodium Thiopental is a legitimately traded drug with other non human rights abusive uses.
The case is extremely urgent because Mr Zagorski’s US lawyers understand that the Sodium Thiopental has not been shipped to Tennessee yet but may leave any day.
Richard Stein, Partner at Leigh Day & Co solicitors said: “it is most disappointing that although Vince Cable says he and his government oppose the death penalty, he is unwilling to take this small step which could save the life of Mr Zagorski and others. We will be asking the court to force him to act.”
For further information see the Reprieve Press Release at: http://www.reprieve.org.uk/2010_11_02_zagorski_press_conference
To discuss this case further, please contact Richard Stein on 020 7650 1240
Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.