Donald Trump calls for ex-MI6 spy behind Russia dossier to be extradited

The US president tweeted ‘Bring back Steele!!!’ on Saturday morning.

Christopher Steele
Christopher Steele

Donald Trump has called for the extradition to the US of the former MI6 agent behind a controversial dossier about his alleged links with Russia.

The US president claimed Christopher Steele should go on trial over the 2016 document as he shared a report on a ruling made in London’s High Court on Wednesday.

Orbis Business Intelligence, where Mr Steele is a director, was ordered to pay compensation to two Russian businessmen, who had complained information about them in the dossier was inaccurate.

Retweeting a report about the ruling on Saturday morning, Mr Trump said: “This man should be extradited, tried, and thrown into jail…”

A short while later Mr Trump retweeted another report about the High Court’s decision, adding: “Bring back Steele!!!”

In response to the US president, a spokesman for Orbis Business Intelligence said: “We are well aware that Donald Trump’s tweets are not to be taken as a serious comment on any kind of judicial or legal process.”

On Wednesday, Petr Aven and Mikhail Fridman were awarded £18,000 in compensation after complaining that information about them in the dossier was inaccurate and a breach of English data protection law.

A memorandum in the dossier, written by the firm’s director Mr Steele, contained a number of allegations, and suggested that the two businessmen had been involved in delivering large amounts of “illicit cash” to Mr Putin when he was deputy mayor of St Petersburg.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump urged Mr Steele’s extradition (AP)

Mr Justice Warby, who is based at the High Court, said more “energetic checking” should have been done into the cash delivery allegation.

The judge, who delivered the ruling after overseeing a hearing earlier this year, said the Steele Dossier had been produced in 2016 on the instructions of a Washington DC consultancy.

Mr Justice Warby ruled that Orbis Business Intelligence was not responsible for the “wider publication” of the dossier, which was released to the public by BuzzFeed in 2017.

It contained allegations of collusion between Mr Trump’s US presidential campaign and the Kremlin, which have been denied by both parties.

A statement on the Orbis website, referring to the memo referred to in court as 112, said: “The judge found that CIR 112 ‘records accurately what Mr Steele was told by the source’ and held that Orbis BI was not responsible for the wider publication of this report. Nor did the judge accept that Orbis should be held responsible for damages caused by third party republication of CIR 112.

“Orbis BI are grateful for Justice Warby’s clear and detailed ruling in this case and will ensure that our company’s data handling procedures incorporate his various findings going forward.”

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