A British whistleblower held against his will in Croatia for 78 days will discover this coming week if he has won his fight against “wrongful” arrest and a “politically motivated” extradition.
Jonathan Taylor, who lifted the lid on a multi-million pound bribery scandal at Monaco-based SBM Offshore, has been forced to live apart from his family in Croatia for more than two months after being arrested on an Interpol warrant as he arrived for a holiday with his wife and three children.
His lawyers claim the arrest and extradition request by Monaco were “politically motivated” and retaliation for his whistleblowing, which led to SBM Offshore having to pay out more than £350m to settle corruption charges with the US Justice Department and Dutch authorities.
His lawyers are confident the Interpol warrant will be quashed.
Toby Cadman, co-founder at Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers, which is representing Mr Taylor pro bono, said: “I strongly believe they will rule in our favour. I can see no possible reason for them not to do so.
“The fact that he has been held on the basis that he has blown the whistle on one of the most widely reported scandals flies in the face of justice.”
In his appeal to Interpol, Mr Taylor’s lawyers said the move was “revenge” for his revelations, that he could not expect a fair trial in Monaco and that he should be protected as a whistleblower who had exposed corruption.
While trapped in Croatia, Mr Taylor has been investigating further evidence of alleged corruption in Monaco said to include multi-million pound bribes of government officials. This week, the Croatian supreme court is expected to rule on Monaco’s request for extradition on what his lawyers claim are “trumped up” charges of bribery.
Mr Taylor, now a freelance legal contractor based in Southampton, left SBM in 2012 but was then accused of extortion as he tried to negotiate a compensation settlement for his loss of earnings from blowing the whistle.
SBM has previously told The Sunday Telegraph it had dropped any legal action against Mr Taylor.
The Monaco justice department was contacted for comment. It has previously maintained Mr Taylor is being investigated by a judge whose invitations to him to come to Monaco have been spurned.