“Issue over bail for man fighting extradition to US”

October 1, 2013

Guardian Media on September 27, 2013 released the following:

By: Derek Achong

“Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar has been asked to decide whether Surinamese businessman Edmund Quincy Muntslag is entitled to bail while he waits extradition to the United States for allegedly conspiring to traffic cocaine. Muntslag’s attorney Keith Scotland applied for bail during a hearing of his extradition case at the Port-of-Spain Eighth Magistrates Court yesterday.

Yesterday’s hearing was Muntslag’s second since he was detained shortly after arriving in Trinidad on August 29. He is accused with Dino Delano Bouterse, the son of Surinamese President Desi Bouterse, for conspiracy to export five kilos of cocaine into the US between 2011 and this year. Bouterse, who also faces an additional charge for possession of a light anti-tank weapon, was arrested in Panama in August and handed over to US authorities.

Scotland said although an extradition warrant had been issued for his client, he was yet to receive the particulars of the offence Muntslag was alleged to have committed. He also said his client only understood basic English and needed a translator for future hearings. Muntslag sat in the prisoners’ enclosure with his hands clasped and listened intently. His mother, aunt and common-law wife, Jessica, were seated at the back of the court.

Scotland refered to the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act and the Bail Act, saying both pieces of legislation gave magistrates the power to grant bail to people awaiting extradition. Scotland said his client did not have a criminal record before being indicted on the drug-trafficking charges by the US and there was no evidence he was a flight risk. “Our instructions are he is of good character and has no convictions or pending matters in Suriname or elsewhere,” he said.

Scotland said Muntslag arrived in Trinidad legally and was only arrested when he went to Trincity Mall to shop for his five-year-old son. “He didn’t arrive on a boat in Icacos,” Scotland said. He said his client had no intention of fleeing Trinidad and suggested if Ayers-Caesar was willing to grant him bail, she had the option to place conditions to ensure he attended future hearings.

In response attorney Jagdeo Singh, who is representing the US Government’s interest in the case, said bail could only be granted to those awaiting extradition in special circumstances and asked Ayers-Caesar to consider the seriousness of the offence and that Muntslag had no ties to T&T. “The court can draw the irresistible inference that he poses a major flight risk,” Singh said. He told Ayers-Caesar that in deciding on the bail issue, she also had to consider T&T’s international extradition obligations.

“There is overriding public interest in the courts ensuring T&T maintains its commitments and obligations to its international partners,” Singh said. Ayers-Caesar said she needed time to consider the submissions and adjourned the case to October 11 when she will give her decision. The substantive case will be heard on October 28. There was a noticeable increase in police presence in and around the court for Muntslag’s appearance.

Groups of police officers were positioned at strategic locations in front of the court with several officers standing at the exits of the court during the hearing. Muntslag arrived at the St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, courthouse shortly after 8 am in the back of a prison transport van, which was escorted by a marked police car. Both were filled with heavily-armed police in tactical gear. After the case was adjourned, Muntslag was taken from the court to the vehicle then returned to the Maximum Security Prison, Arouca.

Israel Khan, SC, and Netram Kowlessar also are representing the US Government while Asha Watkins-Montserin also is representing Muntslag.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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U.S. fugitive arrested in Kitchener

April 18, 2012

The Record on April 17, 2012 released the following:

“Waterloo Regional Police have arrested an American fugitive who has been wanted by U.S. authorities since 2000.

Glen Allan Ward, 47, was arrested without incident April 5 at a banking machine in Kitchener. He was arrested under the Extradition Act and is scheduled to be in court today, police said in a news release.

Ward is wanted by American law enforcement authorities in Los Angeles and San Francisco for bankruptcy fraud in connection with an investigation that dates back 12 years.

The FBI received a Canada-wide warrant under the Extradition Act after learning the man had fled to Canada after being released on bail in Los Angeles in 2000.

FBI officials looked for Ward in British Columbia, and Quebec and more recently in southern Ontario.

In March, Waterloo Regional Police were told Ward might be in the region.

Police said Ward is believed to have used numerous aliases including Sheldon Cross, John Wells, Sean Hamilton, Jeremy Mitchell, John Mitchell, Brandon Grant, Brandon Cartwright, Brandon Cohen, Brandon Michaels, Brandon Mercer, Jacob Becker, Jacob Alexander and Matthew Becker.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Canada here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Marina Talashkova to remain in custody in Canada until her actual extradition hearing date

April 18, 2012

The Voice of Russia on April 17, 2012 released the following:

Liudmila Chernova

“Marina Talashkova to stay in Canada until her extradition

Russian flight attendant Marina Talashkova will remain in custody in Canada until her actual extradition hearing date set by Canadian Ministry of Justice.

Senior Consul of the Russian Consulate in Toronto Igor Kiikov said the next hearing would take place in several weeks.

Kiykov: “The next hearing date is set for May 24. During that hearing the detailed examination of all or part of the charges will be made in a narrow aspect. And it will be decided if the evidence and charges are serious enough, and if they are considered to be a crime according to the Canadian law, as if a similar crime was committed in Canada.”

Talashkova’s Toronto lawyer Tyler Hodgson said that before the third scheduled court appearance the Canadian authorities had provided the defense with the American statement of the case.

Hodgson: “The Americans as they are required due to the extradition act have provided certification from the prosecuting authorities that they have evidence available to call in relation to the offenses for what they seek to extradite her.”

Hodgson added that Canadian justice officials agreed to continue with judicial proceedings.

Hodgson: “The authorizations proceed from the Canadian Ministry of justice on extradition hearing relating to one count of fraud and one count of possession of stolen property.”

Talashkova is accused of an alleged involvement in a multi-dollar Internet fraud case that occurred in America.

A Federal Grand Jury indicted six foreign nationals, three of whom are Russian, on charges of defrauding American car buyers through well-known websites, such as eBay Motors, Auto Trader, Yahoo Auto, Edmunds.com and Craigslist. According to the indictment, for 3 ½ years the members of the conspiracy allegedly offered vehicles for sales on various legitimate websites, and after a price was negotiated, the defendants allegedly sent fraudulent invoices. The collected money was siphoned from escrow accounts to Europe.

Hodgson noted that according to the indictment, Talashkova withdrew money from various bank accounts in Nevada that she opened in her own name. The deposits were made people attempting to purchase vehicles, but vehicles were never provided.

Hodgson: “What I would point out is that there is no allegation that Marina opened any bank accounts using second identification or passports, which is alleged for the other members of the conspiracy. And her involvement is limited essentially to a one week period in July of 2007. So I think even on the documents that American authorities have provided, her involvement is quite limited.”

Kiikov said that Talashkova had already received her case file.

Kiikov: “She does not speak English well enough, and we will demand to provide her with the certified translation of these materials.”

On its behalf, Russia raised concerns over Talashkova’s case as the Americans failed to use the 1999 Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, advising direct assistance between Russia and America and not the third party.

Hodgson: “I think that certainly will become a live issue in her extradition hearing.”

Talashkova was detained by the Canadian authorities on January 15 by the US request. The Russian General Consulate in Toronto was informed by Canadian authorities the same day. However Russia did not receive an official note from America. The stewardess has denied any involvement in illegal activities.

Hodgson stressed that the ignoring of obligation to use the treaty is Russia’s firm position, which is stated in the correspondence to the Canadian Department of Justice.

Hodgson: “The fact that they failed to do so and waited until she arrived in Canada isn’t a decent process. And that is certainly something that we’ll be advocating during the extradition hearing and ultimately it will be up to the judge to decide.”

Voice of Russia tried to reach the US Justice Ministry for comment, but received no answer.

Not many are familiar with the pitfalls of extradition procedure. Hodgson pointed that the test to extradite somebody differs from the test to prove a criminal conviction.

Hodgson: “In order for the Americans to convict Marina or anyone of the criminal offense, they have to prove it beyond the reasonable doubt. To extradite somebody is a much lower threshold test and essentially it is that the prosecuting authorities, in this case the United States, simply are able to provide some evidence of a criminal conduct and the judge that presides the extradition hearing is not really allowed to delve into the quality of the evidence and to assess whether a knowledge is credible. So, it is a much lower threshold.”

Talashkova is being held in Milton women’s prison in the Ontario province, 37 miles away from Toronto in a two-person prison cell.

Kiikov said that she doesn’t have any complaints on the conditions in jail.

Kiikov: “The representatives of Trans Air regularly visit Marina in jail. We have also been there to check the conditions of detention. Canadian jails are quite clean, so there are no complaints in this regard. The food is good there. She has an opportunity to take Russian books from the library given there by us, as they did not have any books in Russian there before. And they promised to buy her an English-Russian dictionary.”

Kiikov said the consulate continues to stay in contact with Talashkova, and assist with what is necessary.

Kiikov: “We work very closely with the lawyer. Her mother came to visit her and looked at the conditions in the jail. But there is no essential decision on her detention and extradition.”

Hodgson noted though Talashkova is upset and confused, she is trying to persevere.

Hodgson: “I think that she is strong and she is holding together as best as she can in these circumstances. I can tell you that her mother visited her from Russia around a month ago and I think that was certainly helpful.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Canada here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Namibia: Alexander Attacks Root of Extradition Request

April 12, 2012

AllAfrica.com on April 12, 2012 released the following:

“BY WERNER MENGES

ISRAELI-BORN businessman Jacob ‘Kobi’ Alexander took his fight against a request for his extradition to the United States of America right to the heart of the matter in the High Court in Windhoek yesterday.

The specification of the United States as a country to which people can be extradited from Namibia is unconstitutional and should in any event not apply to Alexander, the leader of Alexander’s legal team, South African senior counsel Peter Hodes, argued during a hearing before Judge Kato van Niekerk.

If Alexander and his legal team succeed with their attack on the specification of the US in terms of the Extradition Act it could be the end of the extradition request which led to his arrest in Windhoek about five and a half years ago.

Alexander (59), who is free on bail of N$10 million, is wanted in the US on 35 criminal charges connected to allegations that he had committed fraud with the receipt of options to obtain shares in Comverse Technology Inc, a New York-based company that he had helped found in 1982 and ran until early in 2006.

He and his family have been living in Namibia since late July 2006. They previously lived in New York City.

The US authorities are alleging that Alexander became a fugitive from American justice in July 2006.

The proclamation through which the US was specified as a country to which the extradition of people from Namibia may be affected was signed by President Hifikepunye Pohamba on August 31 2006.

The proclamation was published in the Government Gazette on September 27 2006. Alexander was arrested in Windhoek on the same date.

All of the alleged acts over which the US authorities want Alexander to be extradited date from the period between January 1998 and March 2006.

Alexander is opposing the extradition request. He is denying that he is guilty of the charges filed against him in the US, and has stated that if he is ever extradited, he would “vigorously contest” those charges.

In the case in which Judge Van Niekerk started hearing arguments yesterday Alexander is asking the court to declare that the proclamation specifying the US as a country to which people can be extradited from Namibia is inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid to the extent that it applies to any request for Alexander’s extradition to the US.

In the alternative to that part of his application Alexander is asking the court to review and set aside the President’s decision to issue the proclamation.

He is also asking the court to declare that the proclamation does not give the US the status of a country to which persons can be extradited from Namibia.

He is further asking the court to review and set aside the decision of the Minister of Justice, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, to authorise Windhoek Regional Court Magistrate Dinnah Usiku to conduct the extradition enquiry in respect of the request for Alexander’s surrender to the US authorities.

Hodes argued that the proclamation was issued in order to result in the arrest of Alexander and to set in motion extradition proceedings against him – all of which resulted in a limitation of his constitutional rights.

He pointed out that in a letter which Iivula-Ithana – at that stage holding office as both Minister of Justice and Attorney General – wrote to the President on August 21 2006 she stated that the US would in due course be asking Namibia to surrender a fugitive who was wanted in the US, and that the US should for that reason be specified as a country for extradition in terms of the Extradition Act.

That letter indicated that the proclamation was aimed at Alexander – and for that reason, the proclamation is unconstitutional, Hodes argued.

He based this argument on an article of the Constitution which states that any law limiting any fundamental rights or freedoms protected by the Constitution must be of general application and “shall not be aimed at a particular individual”.

“Here it is aimed at a specific individual. That makes the proclamation unconstitutional,” Hodes said.

Senior counsel Wim Trengove, representing the President, Justice Minister and Prosecutor General, readily agreed that Alexander’s case had been the trigger for the proclamation. That does not make the proclamation unconstitutional, though, he argued.

The proclamation is not intended to operate only in relation to Alexander, and not for all similar extradition matters involving the US in future, Trengove argued.

Alexander’s situation brought to the fore the need to specify the US as a country in terms of the Extradition Act, Trengove said. “That is how legislation happens,” he remarked.

The interpretation which Alexander’s legal team has attached to the proclamation is fundamentally flawed, he argued.

The hearing of arguments is scheduled to continue today.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Megaupload: Kim Dotcom May Regain Possessions, Modern Warfare Crown

March 21, 2012

Forbes on March 19, 2012 released the following:

“In a potentially embarrassing turn of events for the case against Kim “Dotcom” Schmitz, former head of Megaupload and perhaps the third most famous Kim currently living, it seems that the seizure of his property may be overturned as a result of a misfiled restraint order by the New Zealand Police.

Schmitz, a German national, is currently fighting extradition from New Zealand to the US to be prosecuted on charges relating to copyright-infringing material being made available through Megaupload.com and its partner sites. Although Megaupload did not directly sell the allegedly infringing content, it profited from advertising revenues based on page views and subscription fees from premium members. According to the indictment, the damage to copyright holders from Megaupload’s activities totals more than $500,000,000 – although the statistical metrics behind this calculation remain uncertain.

According to a report in the New Zealand Herald, Dotcom’s assets were impounded under an order which precluded the possibility of Him mounting a legal defense to re-acquire them. Described as a procedural error, this will nonetheless look to critics of the handling of the case like the misuse of extreme legal measures designed to battle terrorists and avert loss of life. This narrative has been ongoing since the deployment of armed STG officers – the New Zealand equivalent of SWAT – in the initial raid. Schmitz is a keen and fierce competitor in Activision’s Modern Warfare video game: one consequence of his incarceration before release on bail was the loss of his status as Modern Warfare 3′s highest-ranking multiplayer competitor. This will make for an interesting emotional damages claim in any countersuit.

New Zealand’s Crown Law Office – mindful, no doubt, that when they mess up it makes the Queen look bad – promptly applied for the correct restraining order, listing for seizure items that had already been seized under the previous order. Justice Judith Potter has already declared that the initial order was null and void, and will shortly address claims by Schmitz’ legal team that the property should be returned to their client’s control forthwith.

If the property is returned, along with a number of servers and tools of his trade Schmitz will be able once again to enjoy his Predator Statue, $17,500 Devon Tread 1 wristwatch and perhaps enjoy a game of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on one of the many enormous TV screens which were seized in the initial raid. Having secured a release on bail in spite of FBI opposition, Schmitz recently made statements to the file-sharing news site Torrentfreak expressing the hope that will soon to be able to reveal the identities of his site’s biggest users in the Department of Justice. If this tactic – of apparently trolling the case against – pays off, Schmitz may be able to say to his prosecutors, as he did to his victims on the virtual battlefield:

“Don’t hate me because I beat you. Respect me because I teach you :)”

However, the DoJ, whose lack of a sense of humour is generally comsidered a feature rather than a bug, may prove a tougher foe than 15 million Xbox antagonists. It’s not all bad news for American copyright abroad – nearer to home, the Crown signed off on the quickie extradition of Richard o’Dwyer for sharing links to copyright-infringing material on his TVShack website, using an extradition act signed hurriedly into law in 2003 as a vital tool in the war against terror. If the line between piracy and terrorism becomes blurred in the eyes of content providers and lawmakers, Dotcom may yet have cause to regret his vaunted gift with a virtual assault rifle.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and New Zealand here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Blow for Gary McKinnon as U.S. Extradition deal deemed ‘fair’

October 14, 2011

DailyMail.co.uk on October 14, 2011 released the following:

“By JAMES SLACK

The controversial Extradition Act under which Gary McKinnon faces being sent for trial in the U.S. is not biased against British citizens, a review has concluded.

The verdict of the independent panel, to be made public as early as Tuesday, is certain to provoke claims of a whitewash.

The review, led by Lord Justice Scott Baker, was prompted by alarm over the case of Asperger’s sufferer Mr McKinnon, who is facing extradition on charges of computer hacking.

But it has found that the 2003 Extradition Act is neither lopsided nor unfair.

The panel will also rule against the introduction of a so-called ‘forum bar’, which has long been demanded by Mr McKinnon’s supporters.

The rule, which can be passed with a vote in Parliament, would mean a suspect would normally be tried in the country where the bulk of his or her crimes were committed.

In Mr McKinnon’s case, he searched NASA computers for evidence of ‘little green men’ from his North London home.

Campaigners hoped that, at the very least, Lord Scott Baker would agree to the introduction of ‘forum’, which is already sitting on the statute books waiting to be enacted.

But the panel will rule that this is not necessary and that the current system is fair. The findings will be a political headache for Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who promised in opposition to change the Act and save Mr McKinnon from extradition.

Writing in the Daily Mail in 2009, Mr Clegg called the Anglo-American treaty ‘lopsided’ and said it ‘gives more rights to Americans than British passport-holders’. He added: ‘I forced a debate on it . . . and warned the Government that the treaty would lead to an abuse of people’s rights in this country. But they wouldn’t listen.’

Critics of the Act say it is lopsided because British citizens are not given the same legal protection as their American counterparts.

If the U.S. government wants to extradite a UK citizen it needs only to outline the alleged offence, the punishment and provide an accurate description of the suspect.

But to extradite an American, Britain must prove that the wanted individual has probably committed a crime, a much harder test.

The U.S. has vehemently argued that there is nothing unbalanced about the treaty, and during the panel’s inquiry Lord Scott Baker met senior figures in the U.S. legal system.

The panel has now ruled in favour of the U.S. argument.

It will point out that the U.S. has never refused a request from Britain to extradite a suspect. Britain has refused to extradite in a handful of cases.

The extradition of Mr McKinnon, the subject of the Mail’s ‘An Affront to Justice’ campaign, was temporarily halted by Home Secretary Theresa May last year.

She wants to examine advice on whether the 45-year-old is fit to be sent abroad.”

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.