Almost two weeks after attorneys representing Troy Thomas, who is wanted for murder in the United States, argued that the magistracy has no jurisdiction to hear the extradition proceedings initiated against him, they moved to the High Court in a bid to block his extradition.
Thomas, of South Ozone Park, Queens, New York, USA, who allegedly murdered Keith Frank on December 11th, 2011, was recently apprehended by ranks of the Guyana Police Force at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.
Attorneys Nigel Hughes, Bernard Da Silva and Darren Wade, who represent Thomas, moved to the High Court last Friday, where, among other things, they have argued that Thomas as a Guyanese citizen is entitled to the protections of the provisions of the Constitution.
It is the view of Thomas’ attorneys that Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus, who is presently hearing the extradition proceedings, has no authority in law or otherwise to enforce the provisions of the treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States of America for the mutual extradition of fugitive criminals, signed on December 22nd, 1931.
A hearing on the application is expected on April 13th.
Meanwhile, the extradition proceedings before Magistrate Isaacs-Marcus are due to continue on Wednesday but it is expected that they will be adjourned in light of the pending High Court case.
One of the cases that Thomas’ attorneys have cited for their challenge is that of Barry Dataram. In the wake of the Dataram case, the PPP/C government announced that it would modify the law and in October, 2009 it passed an amendment to the Fugitive Offenders Act 1988 to address the conflict that arose within the law regarding individuals here being extradited. The amendment also controversially included a provision which empowers the Home Affairs (now Public Security) Minister (to decide whether to extradite or not.