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American President Questioned Over Barnsley Student

Tuesday January 31 2012


Barack Obama Barack Obama


PRESIDENT Barack Obama was questioned over the fate of a Barnsley student that faces extradition to America after thousands of people flooded onto a White House online question time.

The case of Richard O'Dwyer, 23, formerly of Mount Vernon Road, Barnsley was raised in an online session in the White House, after thousands of web users voted it the top issue to be put to Mr Obama.

The question of his extradition topped a list of 133,184 questions put forward by American voters - more than 6,000 YouTube and Google asked why he was enforcing an extradition law on a UK citizen.

Mr Obama answered: "One of the ways our system works is that the president doesn't get involved in prosecution decisions or extradition decisions.

"We want to make sure intellectual property is protected. We want to make sure that the creative works of people in this country aren't expropriated."

Richard O'Dwyer is facing at least five years in an American jail after he appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court regarding a website which earned him almost £150,000.

He is accused of breaking US copyright laws through TVShack - a site which provided links to pirate videos of American films and television shows.

His barristers argued it operated in much the same way as Google but US prosecutors say he earned £146,000 over three years in advertising revenue and - because the videos were stored on servers in the US - say it was a crime committed in that country.

The Sheffield Hallam computing student, who went to Holy Rood Primary, was arrested by London police and US customs officials at his student flat in November 2010.

The family are now taking his extradition battle to the High Courts.

If you want to see Mr Obama's answer about Richard, check out the video here.

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