WHAT reasonably right-minded person would not feel sympathy – and, in my case, to some extent, empathy – for the plight of Eileen Clark (Oxford Mail, February 25) who faces extradition to the US on charges of international parental kidnapping?

There is an undeniably unlevel playing field regarding such issues, she has a worsening psychiatric condition, and a specific fear of flying. She is, with respect, now well into middle age, and the, in certain aspects, barbaric nature of the American judicial system and the inhumane conditions prevailing in some of their jails, make it completely unworthy of all that that nation claims to be and a very considerable source of shame for all Westerners.

Nonetheless, no-one forced her to move to that country, nor to become an American citizen, though this latter point is presumably not particularly relevant.

Furthermore, kidnapping, whether international and parental or not, and whatever the possible mitigation of which we are ignorant, is a very serious offence on both sides of the Atlantic and it is difficult to believe that she was or is so ingenuous as to not be aware of this.

Moreover, there is absolutely nothing in your article to suggest that she considers herself innocent, ignorance probably constituting no defence whatsoever, especially in the case of such a serious crime.

I am surprised that there is no statute of limitations factor – the alleged abduction having occurred at the end of the last century – even in an instance as potentially grave as this. Pity she did not choose Italy.

The Prime Minister may well have announced that there will be a “proper, sober, thoughtful review” into the 2002 Extradition Act, but it is likely to be too late for Eileen and will doubtless produce few or no positive results.

My heart goes out to her and her family, and I sincerely hope that this terrible tragedy will be resolved in a civilised manner, along with one or two more or less comparable ones.

DAVID DIMENT, Riverside Court, Oxford