American mum claims to be British government agent fights extradition to the USA from Scots jail over alleged kidnapping plot
Valerie Hayes, 38, faces charges of conspiring to snatch two children during an armed raid in the States
By Matt Coyle
2nd March 2019, 11:12 pm
Updated: 2nd March 2019, 11:16 pm
AN American mum who claims to be a British government agent is fighting extradition to the US from a Scots jail over an alleged kidnapping plot.
Valerie Hayes, 38, faces charges of conspiring to snatch two children during an armed raid in the States.
But she claims she was working for the UK security services in Northern Ireland at the time.
And after appearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to fight the order to return, she said she was set up by her ex-husband, a high-ranking US intelligence officer.
Speaking from the city’s Saughton nick she protested her innocence — and told how she fears being killed if she goes home to the US.
She said: “I have a case for bail should I wish to pursue it, but have refrained from doing so thus far.
“At the very least I am safe — I would voluntarily deprive myself of liberty for a lifetime on remand in a Scottish prison if it meant being kept safe.”
Ms Hayes believes she has been framed by former partner Robert D Hayes, a high ranking intelligence officer in the US military with security clearance just one level below that of the President.
The behavioural analyst, who has also worked for the American government, previously accused her ex of tying her up and stabbing her repeatedly — and claimed there was a cover-up after he was completely cleared by prosecutors.
She and two others were arrested in Scotland in November by cops acting on a warrant from the American authorities.
Ms Hayes has been kept at HMP Edinburgh as she fights the official request to return her to the States.
She originally fled her homeland in 2014 and sought asylum but was advised that she was almost certain to be refused as she is American.
The mum of four claims she was offered an alternative deal and recruited by the British Government.
Ms Hayes added: “I feel I have no option but to go public in this way.
“My hope is that the light will make it impossible to be forced back into the hands of a country that would rather see me as collateral damage.”
At a preliminary extradition hearing on Thursday, her solicitor Jelina Matthew told the court her client’s asylum file has not been released by the Home Office — which is almost unheard of in extradition cases.
Ms Matthew told the court: “I’m having issues obtaining Ms Hayes’ asylum file. I’ve been told by the Home Office that her file is restricted which is somewhat unusual.
“My client is claiming she was granted leave to remain. I need access to the files to find out on what grounds this was granted.”
Afterwards, Ms Matthew said: “Valerie Hayes maintains she came into the UK in 2014 whereby she claimed asylum as she faced inhuman, degrading treatment, torture and persecution from her husband who held a high ranking position in the US military.
“Valerie has clearly stated that her biggest fear is to return to the USA. She would rather spend her entire life in a Scottish prison.
“Valerie claims to have been granted four years’ leave to remain in the UK but this grant was outwith the asylum route.”
The lawyer added: “Her asylum/immigration file is still being held by the Home Office despite efforts being made by her MP Alison Thewliss to retrieve this for her.
“The Home Office can impose entry bans to individuals who have previously breached immigration law.
“Bans can last one year, two years, five years or ten years but Valerie Hayes claims to have entered and exited the UK without any difficulty.”