UK whistleblower Jonathan Taylor finally freed from extradition torment almost one year on


Whistleblower Jonathan Taylor

We are delighted to announce that on Wednesday 7 July 2021, Croatian Justice Minister Ivan Malenica formally rejected the request by Monaco to extradite UK whistleblower Jonathan Taylor. Jonathan Taylor’s Support Group extends its gratitude to the Minister for taking the right decision.

The move comes following sustained calls for the past 11 months from human rights and civil liberties campaigners across Europe – and UK MPs –  for his immediate release and safe return home. Legal experts backing the release of Jonathan Taylor said there was no proper legal basis for Monaco to seek Mr. Taylor’s extradition and the process was retaliatory in nature. Lawyers acting on behalf of Jonathan Taylor argued that it constituted an abuse of process.

Jonathan Taylor was arrested whilst on a family holiday in Croatia last July, and has been restrained there since. He has been isolated, away from his family, and unable to support himself or his family, all of which have taken an extreme toll on his mental wellbeing.

A former in-house lawyer for oil firm SBM Offshore based in Monaco, Jonathan Taylor blew the whistle in 2013 on a massive bribery scheme. Jonathan’s whistleblowing disclosures led to SBM Offshore paying over $800 million in fines in the US, Netherlands and Brazil and investigations which led to successful prosecutions of two former CEOs for fraud-related offences.

Yet nine years later, he was arrested on a questionable Interpol Red Notice  whilst on holiday, and wanted for questioning in Monaco over allegations made by his former employer over his settlement. The Red Notice was withdrawn by Monaco last December on the eve of Interpol making a determination on its validity. Jonathan denies wrongdoing and his lawyers have long argued there is no legal basis for extraditing him for questioning as he is neither charged nor convicted of any offences.

“I am of course elated that justice has finally prevailed and I am appreciative that Minister of Justice Ivan Malenica was able to pay regard to the salient legal arguments of my lawyers that were seemingly overlooked by the Courts in making his decision to reject Monaco’s flawed attempt at extraditing me,” states Jonathan Taylor.

“Special thanks go to all my supporters in Europe, overseas and in Croatia who somehow kept me sane in my year of need! Be assured that I remain resolute and proud of exposing serious wrongdoing at SBM Offshore and I will never be intimidated by the corrupt and those that shamefully seek retaliation against me for exposing them. I continue to stand ready to assist the Monaco Prosecutor in the event that a decision is made to pursue those responsible for SBM Offshore’s illicit business practices instead of me.”

We agree with Jonathan. The Minister of Justice of Croatia, Ivan Malenica, carefully considered the position of Jonathan Taylor as a whistleblower and a protected witness. His decision in this case has wider implications for the rule of law in Europe: it is a victory for the public’s right to know about wrongdoing by protecting the messengers of that information. Whistleblowers play a vital role in Europe’s fight against global corruption. Croatia has demonstrated its commitment to the rule of law and to the protection of whistleblowers.

We now call on Monaco to drop any further proceedings against Jonathan Taylor and to focus on the actions of SBM Offshore as a proper target for their investigations.

We wish Jonathan a safe return to the UK where he can begin to rebuild his life.

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

Whistleblowing International Network (WIN)

Martin Bright, Editor, Index on Censorship (United Kingdom)

Protect (United Kingdom)

Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers (United Kingdom)

Centre for Free Expression (Canada)

Free Press Unlimited

The Government Accountability Project (USA)


The Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF)

Transparency International EU

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation (Malta)

Pištaljka (Serbia)

Blueprint for Free Speech (Germany and Australia)

The Signals Network (USA/France)

Transparency International – Bulgaria

Transparency International Italy

SpeakOut SpeakUp Ltd

European Organisation of Military Associations and Trade Unions (EUROMIL)

Transparency International Secretariat

Access Info Europe


European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

Eurocadres – Council of European Professional & Managerial Staff

Professor David Lewis, Middlesex University (UK)

Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT)

Sherpa (France)


Baroness Kramer, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Whistleblowing (UK)

Mary Robinson MP, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Whistleblowing (UK)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Whistleblower Jonathan Taylor releases further allegations of corruption

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]An oil industry whistleblower who has been held in Croatia for almost a year on extradition charges has revealed further explosive claims about his former employer.

Jonathan Taylor, who in 2013 revealed a bribery and corruption scandal at the Monaco-based Dutch oil company SBM Offshore, claims the company was also involved in a deal which saw tens of millions of dollars promised to a Panamanian company run by a powerful and allegedly corrupt Angolan official. 

Taylor released documents to whistleblowing networks and the media which show that British oil company BP had paid $100 million to cancel a shipyard construction project in Angola. A third of the money owed from the cancellation of the deal to build floating oil platforms was earmarked for Sonangol International Inc, run by Baptiste Sumbe. There was no suggestion this agreement was reached with BP’s knowledge or consent.

Taylor’s revelations come as he approaches the anniversary of his arrest on an Interpol red notice while on holiday in Croatia with his wife and three teenage children. Taylor says he is being targeted as retaliation for his whistleblowing.

In 2013, Taylor gave evidence of bribery by SBM Offshore, for whom he worked as a lawyer, to the UK Serious Fraud Office, as well as investigators in the Netherlands and Brazil as well as the FBI.

Taylor’s allegations were at the centre of what became known as the “Petrobras scandal”, where SBM was accused of paying bribes to Brazilian government officials.

As a result of Taylor’s whistleblowing, SBM Offshore was fined over $827 million after being found to have used bribery payments in excess of $275 million.

Taylor now faces extradition to Monaco. On 18 May this year, despite a 10-month long appeal since his detention, the Supreme Court of Croatia issued a judgement confirming the extradition. In response, 40 legal experts, NGOs and campaigners signed an open letter calling for the extradition to be halted. The decision currently rests with Croatian justice minister Ivan Malenica, to whom the letter was addressed.

Taylor is also being targeted with a defamation suit in the Dutch courts, which many consider to be a strategic lawsuit against public participation or SLAPP. The company sought a public apology and damages of €630,000. The claim was not upheld in the Dutch courts, but Taylor faced lengthy and costly court dealings.

He was released on bail on 4 August 2020 and, although Interpol’s red notice has now been withdrawn, Taylor has been forced to remain in Croatia and is facing extradition to Monaco so he can be “interrogated” over alleged offences.

Taylor has been targeted by SBM ever since he blew the whistle on them.

In 2014, his former employers made a complaint to the authorities in Monaco that Taylor had attempted to extort them but could provide no evidence of this and have since withdrawn the complaint.

Taylor’s situation means there has been concern over his mental health. When British diplomats raised these concerns in response to the lawyer’s own fears, he was held in a psychiatric hospital overnight against his will in May earlier this year.

He described the experience, stating that a substance was “forcibly injected” into him.

“Shortly after this I was taken to a room, still cuffed, where I was strapped to a bed by my feet and legs and my hands,” he said. “I then refused unidentified tablets and was invited to swallow them whilst someone held a cup of water to my mouth. I refused. I was then forcibly turned and something was injected into my upper thigh.”

As the anniversary of Taylor’s arrest approaches, whistleblowing charity Protect has called on the UK government to take further action. It has currently only sought only sought assurances that Taylor will be treated fairly if extradited, but has not called on Monaco to withdraw the extradition request.

Andrew Pepper-Parsons, head of policy at Protect, said These latest disclosures from Jonathan Taylor show just how vital whistleblowers are to revealing corruption. Despite this, Taylor has been held in Croatia for months facing extradition on baseless claims. It is a clear abuse of process which threatens to set back whistleblowing years and sends a terrifying message to whistleblowers across the continent. The UK government needs to take a more robust stance. It must secure Taylor’s safe return home and call on the Monegasque authorities to drop the extradition”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][three_column_post title=”You may also like to read” category_id=”256″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Urgent letter to Croatian Minister of Justice: Do not extradite whistleblower Jonathan Taylor


Mr. Ivan Malenica

Minister of Justice

Ulica grada Vukovara 49

Maksimirska 63

10 000 Zagreb

Republic of Croatia


Tuesday 18 May 2021


Dear Minister,

Jonathan Taylor is a whistleblower; he is a witness to a crime who has cooperated with law enforcement bodies in seven different jurisdictions and should be protected as such.  He has been in Croatia for nearly 10 months appealing against a request for extradition from Monaco.  Now that the Supreme Court of Croatia has issued its judgment, the final decision on whether or not to extradite Mr. Taylor is up to you, the Minister of Justice.

The Supreme Court of Croatia fully recognises Mr. Taylor’s status as a whistleblower and for the reasons we set out below, we urge you, the Minister of Justice, to refuse Monaco’s abusive request to extradite Mr. Taylor to Monaco and to allow him to return home to the United Kingdom immediately.  

Mr. Taylor is a British national who, during the course of his employment as a lawyer for the Dutch-listed oil industry firm SBM Offshore N.V., with its main office in the Principality of Monaco, uncovered one of the largest corruption and bribery scandals in the world that resulted in criminal investigations in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Netherlands, Switzerland and Brazil. His evidence contributed to the company paying fines amounting to over US$800 million and, to date, the imprisonment of three individuals directly involved in the scandal, including the former CEO of SBM Offshore N.V.

Monaco to date has failed to initiate a single criminal investigation into highly credible and well documented allegations of bribery and corruption on the part of SBM Offshore.  Instead, it has targeted the one person who blew the whistle and brought public scrutiny to such widespread financial crimes.

On 30 July 2020, over eight years after blowing the whistle on corruption, Jonathan travelled to Dubrovnik, Republic of Croatia for a family holiday.  He was arrested at the airport on the basis of a communication issued by Monaco on what was originally stated to be allegations of bribery and corruption. Not only do these allegations have no proper basis in law or fact and constitute an abuse of process but crucially, Mr. Taylor, his lawyers and the Croatian Courts have since been informed in writing that Mr. Taylor is wanted for questioning to determine whether or not to charge him.

At no stage did the law enforcement or judicial authorities in Monaco seek his extradition from the United Kingdom, where Mr. Taylor has lived since 2013, until he was apprehended in Dubrovnik, for the very reason that they knew it would not succeed.

Mr. Taylor has made it clear since 2017, when he first became aware that his former employer, the Dutch listed SBM Offshore N.V. had lodged a criminal complaint in Monaco three years earlier, that he would answer any questions the authorities had of him from the United Kingdom, either remotely or in person.  And since his unlawful detention in Croatia, the offer to answer questions there has been repeated on the agreement that he is able to return home to the United Kingdom.

For Jonathan to be returned to Monaco to face questioning in order to determine whether charges should be laid amounts to a clear act of retaliation for his having disclosed the corrupt practices of a major offshore oil firm and one of the largest private sector employers in the small principality.

In March 2021, after the Supreme Court of Croatia partially upheld a second appeal against extradition, the Dubrovnik court was ordered to seek further clarification from the Monegasque authorities regarding the status of the criminal proceedings for which Mr. Taylor was allegedly charged.  A letter from the Director of Judicial Services in Monaco sent on 1 March 2021 confirmed there Mr. Taylor is not charged with anything as there are no criminal proceedings, nor is there any execution of a judgement for which he is wanted – which are the only two valid legal bases for seeking extradition.  In fact, Interpol confirmed yet again on the 23rd March 2021 that Mr. Taylor is no longer subject to Interpol Red Notice. This after Monaco withdrew the arrest warrant in December 2020.

Further, now that Mr. Taylor’s status as a whistleblower has been confirmed by the Supreme Court of Croatia, even if the Minister accepts that conditions for extradition have been met, in light of Croatia’s duties and obligations under the EU Directive on the protection of whistleblowers and the clearly retaliatory nature of the Monegasque request to extradite Mr. Taylor for questioning, we humbly submit that the decision by the Minister should be to reject it.

Croatia is part of the European Union and one of the 27 Member States which must transpose the EU Directive on the protection of whistleblowers into its national legal system by December 2021. The Directive seeks to harmonise protections for those who report wrongdoing and corruption across Europe. It is crucial that Croatia upholds both the spirit and obligations of the Directive to ensure that whistleblowers are protected by law and this includes ensuring they are immune from civil and criminal liability for having blown the whistle. In a case of such serious corruption like this one, it is essential that vital anti-corruption whistleblower protections do not fall down between borders. To do otherwise, allows those involved in corruption to send a chilling warning to whistleblowers and investigative journalists across the globe that undermines all the efforts of the European Union and the Croatian Government to prevent and root out the corruption that undermines the fabric of its societies and the well-being of its people.

For these very important reasons, and because of his protected status as a whistleblower, we, the undersigned, urge you, the Minister of Justice, to uphold the Rule of Law, reject the extradition order and allow Jonathan Taylor to return home immediately.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Myers, Executive Director, Whistleblowing International Network

on behalf of the Jonathan Taylor Support Committee

With support from:

Access Info Europe (Spain/Europe)

African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (Nigeria)

ARTICLE 19 (United Kingdom)

Blueprint for Free Speech (Australia)

Campax, Switzerland

Center for Whistleblowers Protection (Slovenia)

Centre for Free Expression (Canada)

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

FIND – Financial Investigations (UK)

Free Press Unlimited (Netherlands)

General Workers Union Portugal (UGT-P)

GlobaLeaks (Italy)

Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers (United Kingdom)

Human Rights House Zagreb (Croatia)

Le Réseau Panafricain de Lutte contre la Corruption (UNIS)

Maison des Lanceurs d’Alerte (France)

OBC Transeuropa

Parrhesia Inc (UK)

Pištaljka (Serbia)

Protect (United Kingdom)

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), (Austria)

SpeakOut SpeakUp Ltd (United Kingdom)

Terra Cypria-the Cyprus Conservation Foundation (Cyprus)

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation (Malta)

The Signals Network (USA/France)

Transparency International (Secretariat, Germany)

Transparency International Bulgaria

Transparency International EU

Transparency International Ireland

Transparency International Italia

Transparency International Slovenia

Vanja Jurić, Attorney at law (Croatia)

WBN – Whistleblower Netzwerk (Germany)

Whistleblowers UK



Baroness Kramer, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Whistleblowing

Dr John O’Connor Physician and Whistleblower (Canada)

Martin Bright, Editor, Index on Censorship (United Kingdom)

Peter Matjašič, Senior Program Officer, Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE)

Professor David Lewis, Middlesex University. (United Kingdom)

Professor Wim Vandekerckhove, University of Greenwich (United Kingdom)

Susan Hawley, Executive Director, Spotlight on Corruption (UK)

Thomas Devine, Legal Director, Government Accountability Project (USA)

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British whistleblower held overnight in Croatian psychiatric hospital

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”116596″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][vc_column_text]A British oil industry whistleblower was detained last night by armed police in Zagreb and held overnight against his will in a psychiatric hospital after British diplomats raised concerns about his mental health.

Jonathan Taylor has been stranded in Croatia since July last year, when he was arrested while entering the country for a holiday with his family. The authorities in Monaco, where he worked for oil company SBM Offshore, have accused him of extortion and requested his extradition to the Principality. He is awaiting a decision from the Croatian Supreme Court this week.

In 2013, Taylor blew the whistle on a multimillion dollar network of bribery payments made by SBM around the world and cooperated with prosecutors in the UK, the US, Brazil and the Netherlands. These investigations resulted in fines against the company to the tune of $827 million and the conviction of two former CEOs of SBM for fraud-related offences. However, Monaco has decided to target the whistleblower rather than those responsible for the bribes.

Freedom of expression organisations, including Index on Censorship, have been lobbying the British government to put pressure on Monaco and Croatia to allow Taylor to return England where his family is now based. Media Freedom Rapid Response partners have demanded an end the extradition proceedings.

Taylor had alerted the British Embassy and the Sofia-based regional consul last Friday about his deteriorating mental health and was asked to put his thoughts into writing. This set off a train of events in Zagreb that Jonathan Taylor relates in his own words here:

“I was met by two armed officers at the roadside to the entrance of the forecourt to my apartment at about 9:15pm last night. I was told I had to wait with them until a psychiatrist arrived in an ambulance. After about 45 minutes we went up to my apartment as it had started raining and the ambulance still hadn’t arrived.

“At about 10:15pm the ambulance drivers arrived and joined the two policemen in my apartment. I was then told I had to accompany them to hospital. I protested stating I had been told a psychiatrist would come to me. I made it clear I was not prepared to leave the apartment. Then four more other armed officers arrived. I again explained I was not happy to go to hospital (see picture top).

“Eventually two of the armed officers manhandled me to the ground causing my head to hit a wall and a resulting headache. I was the cuffed with face against the floor and manhandled out of my apartment into an ambulance where I was strapped into a stretcher. Upon arrival at hospital (no idea where I am) I was dragged out of ambulance and sat on a chair just inside the door to the hospital. I was left there under guard, still handcuffed, for about 30 minutes.

“A lady came to see me (apparently a psychiatrist, but she did not introduce herself) and she asked a few basic questions like ‘why did I arrive with the police?’ and ‘how long had they been following me?’ (!).

“Shortly after this I was taken to a room, still cuffed, where I was strapped to a bed by my feet and legs and my hands. I then refused unidentified tablets and was invited to swallow them whilst someone held a cup of water to my mouth. I refused. I was then forcibly turned and something was injected into my upper thigh. It was now at least 12:30am. At about 6:30am, again against my will, I had a further injection. Another psychiatrist came to see me at about 10:15am and she determined I could go…

“A smiling male nurse has just prodded my arm saying ‘everything will be OK, don’t hate Croatia now!” I have just discovered that I am at the University Hospital Vrapte. What to say?…Where I was looking for help, I got one of the worst twelve-hour experiences of my life.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][three_column_post title=”You may also want to read” category_id=”256″][/vc_column][/vc_row]