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Extradited tech tycoon Lynch says battle ‘far from over’

The extradited British technology tycoon Mike Lynch has told allies his battle “is far from over” weeks after appearing in an American court for the first time.

Sky News has seen a note from Mr Lynch to allies and supporters in which he accused authorities of overturning an agreement about his bail conditions and reflected on the “tremendous toll” that his decade-long legal travails have taken on him and his family.

Mr Lynch was flown to California last week to face fraud charges after losing a protracted fight in the UK against his extradition.

The billionaire founder of Autonomy, the software company, has been embroiled in multiple legal fights since its $11bn sale in 2011 to Hewlett Packard.

Last week’s court hearing saw Mr Lynch ordered to pay a $100m bail bond to secure his release after Judge Charles Breyer said he posed a “serious and substantial” flight risk.

In his note to supporters, sent earlier this week, he reiterated his belief that his case should be tried in the UK – where Autonomy was based, listed and audited.

“I hold on to the fact that extradition is not conviction, and the battle is far from over,” he wrote.

“While it was always possible that I would find myself on the West Coast, I couldn’t have imagined the circumstances.

“I was collected from my home at dawn last Thursday and driven by Met Police officers to Heathrow where I was handed over to US Federal Marshalls.

“Although I can’t fault the politeness of the people involved, they were helpful and understanding, the reality of the situation is that from that moment, my phone and laptop were taken from me and I was put in handcuffs for the duration of the flight and transfer to the courthouse.”

Mr Lynch said the circumstances of his potential bail conditions had been negotiated at length prior to his extradition.

“This ended in a relatively satisfactory manner that allowed me the freedom to move around the city and meet with friends, and most importantly, travel to see my lawyers on the East Coast,” he wrote.

“When I arrived in court, to the surprise of most involved, that arrangement changed.

“Placed under much more stringent bail conditions, I spent the first night in custody before moving into temporary accommodation from which I am not allowed to leave other than to meet my lawyers locally.

“This is the reality of extradition to the US, and one that could face any British businessperson.”

Mr Lynch’s extradition has sparked protests from allies in the British business community as well as a number of senior politicians, including the Conservative MP David Davis.

They have argued that the Autonomy founder’s treatment represents an abuse of the extradition treaty between the UK and the US, and suggested that it is one-sided in the Americans’ favour.

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Mr Lynch also referred to an ongoing civil case in the UK against him, which he claimed could conclude in a way that determined his extradition “could be premature”.

“As I wait, confined, for the next legal hearing I’ve inevitably reflected on the events of the decade since HP first made its allegations.

“The pressure of taking on a fight of this magnitude takes a tremendous toll on me, and on my family, and the only silver lining is the warm friendship and support you have all given us, which we are eternally grateful for.

He added that his family’s “ordeal is no easier than mine and it is for them that I keep fighting”.

A spokesman for Mr Lynch declined to comment further.